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Teaching Mathematics in Two Independent School Contexts: The Construction of "Good Practice"

Swanson, D. M.



This paper compares constructions of mathematics teaching and learning practices in two geographically different school contexts. It looks at the constructions of "good practice" within the schooling communities across these two contexts and describes some similarities and differences between them. It provides an interpretation of these differently constructed practices as being contingent on the socially situated contexts of the two schools and schooling communities. Consequently, it problematizes the rhetoric of the reformist movement in education premised on slogans for "better education" which tend to universalize "good" or "progressive" practices, and which often do not consider the complex and contingent nature of school mathematics discourse and practice, or the socio-cultural and historical differences in contexts of schooling. Parent 1: "What do you advise we do to help Jonathan with his maths? Do you think that he needs to put more effort into his work, or do you think the problem is with lack of ability? How can we help him?" Parent 2: "If you would give James better scores for his math tests then he would feel better about his math and himself and then he would do better."


Swanson, D. M. (2000). Teaching Mathematics in Two Independent School Contexts: The Construction of "Good Practice". Educational Insights, 6(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2000-11
Deposit Date Jan 8, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 19, 2023
Journal Educational Insights
Electronic ISSN 1488-3333
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 1
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Journal Article for Educational Insights, an online journal at UBC


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