Mathematical Subjects

Children Talk About Their Mathematics Lives

  • Fiona Walls

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Understanding Children as Mathematical Subjects: Theories and Methods

  3. The Art of Being Mathematical: The Primary Years

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 28-28
    2. Fiona Walls
      Pages 29-66
    3. Fiona Walls
      Pages 67-91
    4. Fiona Walls
      Pages 93-131
    5. Fiona Walls
      Pages 133-171
  4. Subjects of Choice: The Secondary Years

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 174-174
    2. Fiona Walls
      Pages 175-185
    3. Fiona Walls
      Pages 187-205
    4. Fiona Walls
      Pages 207-216
    5. Fiona Walls
      Pages 217-228
  5. Mathematical Futures: Life After School

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 269-286

About this book


We know the process by which children become social, moral, and creative beings, but when—and how—do they become mathematical beings? This thought-provoking volume follows ten children (ages seven through eighteen) in schools in New Zealand, England, Australia, Sweden, and an international school in Switzerland as they come to recognize the mathematical as part of their lives, their academic identities, and their identities as human beings. Through these students’ experiences important themes emerge, including mathematics as work, a domain of learning, and an avenue for competition; mathematical ability as a key to how they are perceived by others; and the relationships between mathematics achievement and the larger social and academic picture. This comparative study of educational systems and academic development will inform readers in these and other salient areas:

  • Theoretical bases for understanding children as mathematical subjects.
  • Help in creating the mathematical self: tutoring and related programs.
  • The roles of compulsory study and standardized assessment.
  • Class and ethnic content in children’s math narratives.
  • The gendering of mathematical ability and activity.
  • What children’s math experience can teach us about teaching the subject.

Children Talk about Their Mathematics Lives opens bold windows onto how young people learn and how disparities arise, making it a cutting-edge resource for researchers and libraries, graduates and teachers in mathematics education and early childhood education.


Longitudinal study childhood education early childhood education education educational system mathematics education

Authors and affiliations

  • Fiona Walls
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

Bibliographic information