"Doing what comes naturally" in mathematics education? The role of social class in pre-service teachers' responses to innovative mathematics pedagogies


  • Colin Jackson Sheffield Hallam University
  • Hilary Povey Sheffield Hallam University


pre-service teachers, mathematical subject knowledge, social class, Bourdieu


This paper reports on a small scale study in mathematics subject knowledge teaching in a secondary mathematics pre-service teacher education course. "Responsible" or "ambitious" pedagogies are adopted on the course. Accounts taken from a larger study are offered from four participants reflecting on their experiences of the course. Permeating the narrative accounts is a sense of the interviewees' dispositions towards learning (and teaching) mathematics and the potentially classed nature of these. Drawing on Bourdieu's concepts of habitus, field and capital, we argue that these dispositions are related to issues of power with which we need, as researchers and as teacher educators, to engage.


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