Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | September 20, 2010

This could be interesting: Listening to the hands of blind learners

4th Oct 5pm- 6.30 pm at Room 901. Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Dr Lulu Healy, Univ. UNIBAN, São Paulo, Brazil

Exploring relationships between sensory experiences and mathematical practices: Listening to the hands of blind learners and deaf learners

The idea for this seminar is to explore the role of the body’s senses in the constitution of meanings for mathematical practices and to examine the claims that (1) cognition is both embodied and situated in the activities through which it occurs and (2) that mathematical learning involves the appropriation of practices associated with the sets of artefacts that have historically come to represent the body of knowledge we call mathematics. To highlight the connections between perceptual activities, material and semiotic resources and mathematical meanings, the discussion will concentrate on the mathematical practices of learners who lack access to one or other sensory field. A number of examples from our research with blind learners and deaf learners will be presented. The examples come from a programme of research in which we seek to identify the differences and similarities in the mathematical practices of those whose knowledge of the world is mediated through different sensory channels, not only to become better able to respond to their particular needs, but also to build more robust understandings of the relationships between experience and cognition more generally.

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