### Beyond the Binary: Dexterous Teaching and Knowing

#### Abstract

This paper identifies binary oppositions in the discourse of mathematics education and introduces a binary-epistemic model for (re)conceptualising these oppositions and the epistemic-pedagogic problems they represent. The model is attentive to the contextual relationships between pedagogically relevant binaries (e.g., traditional/progressive, student-centred/teacher-centred, discovery/transmission, constructivist/behaviourist) and epistemically relevant binaries (e.g., concrete/abstract, pure/applied, interpretivist/positivist, subjective/objective) that operate in mathematics classrooms. The premise of this paper is that ways of knowing mathematics (i.e., epistemologies) are actualised in ways of teaching mathematics (i.e., pedagogies), and vice-versa. The binary-epistemic model describes oppositional, equipositional and parapositional ways of knowing and teaching in relation to these binaries. We argue for a more a relational-contextual or *parapositional* approach to binary polarities that have otherwise proven divisive in mathematical discourse. In the context of the new Australian Curriculum, we illustrate epistemically differentiated ways of teaching measurement in a Year 5 mathematics classroom.

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