Speaker: Elizabeth de Freitas, Manchester Metropolitan University

Title: What is a Mathematical Concept?

Date: 04/18/2018

Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Place: 252 EH

This presentation explores alternative approaches to the question: What is a mathematical concept? Philosophical and historical insights about the nature of mathematical concepts are discussed, with special attention to how concepts emerge and are established through particular mathematical practices. Such work shifts our attention to the material labour and onto generative nature of mathematical activity. New mathematical concepts emerge and old ones are creatively deformed when embodied practices redistribute what is considered sensible and perceptible. I discuss the pedagogical implications of this approach, and the important way such theoretical framing shifts our thinking about mathematics dis/ability. My aim is to rescue mathematical concepts from the staid curricular lists which entomb them, and to consider examples of how we might reanimate concepts in classroom activity.