for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Svanhild Breive ,  Merrilyn Goos ,  John Monaghan - Vol. 42 Num. 1 (2022)
 Interpreting a kindergarten episode through three perspectives on agency


This paper takes a ‘networking of theories’ approach to understand the complexity of the phenomenon of agency. We examine an episode, where a kindergarten teacher and nine children work on an addition problem, from three different perspectives: Valsiner’s zone theory; Radford’s theory of objectification; and Pickering’s dance of agency. Our networking of these approaches offers a way of thinking about agency as ‘forces’ that emerge through activity and operate on human actions. We end the paper by indicating that ethics, as a human relation, may be a catalyst for bringing out the potential that lies in the other agentic forces.