for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Richard Barwell - Vol. 40 Num. 0 (2020)
 Learning mathematics in time and space


Research on the learning of mathematics relies heavily on descriptions of such learning. In this article, I am interested in how the organisation of these descriptions of learning may be understood. To do so, I draw, in particular, on Bakhtin’s (1981) notion of the chronotope. Bakhtin’s work offers a way to go beyond the general category of ‘description’ to look at different dimensions and structures of such accounts of learning. The notion of the chronotope particularly highlights the significance of space-time in the organisation of different genres of writing. I therefore explore the role of space-time in self-generated first-person descriptions of my own learning. I do not claim to offer a definitive or fully-worked-out theory or epistemology, but rather highlight the potential of Bakhtin’s ideas and suggest some general directions for further work.