Anything goes

In absence of clear socio-economic criteria for mathematics education policy (I wrote about that in my papers  Calling a spade a spade: Mathematics in the new pattern of division of labour and  Mathematics for makers and mathematics for users), the mathematics education theory is open to the most bizarre proposals. This one beats everything.

Patricia Morgan and Dor Abrahamson, Applying Contemplative Practices to the Educational Design of Mathematics Content: Report from a Pioneering Workshop. The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 5 no. 1, 1-13 (2018).


Researchers in the field of mathematics education are beginning to appreciate the potential of contemplative practices such as mindfulness to alleviate students’ stress and increase their focus. What researchers do not yet know is whether, and if so how, bringing focused attention to somatic experience through a wide variety of contemplative–somatic practices (i.e., yoga, Feldenkrais, body–mind centering, and attending to bodily sensations in meditation) may support student learning of specific mathematical content. As a first step toward conceptualizing and ideating the pedagogical design and facilitation of content-oriented contemplative exercises, we convened a workshop to explore these ideas. Here we report on findings from this pioneering workshop, which brought together international scholars and practitioners interested in the relations between contemplative–somatic practice and mathematical reasoning and learning. This report elaborates on participants’ experiences and derived pedagogical insights to offer the field new horizons in the development of the theory and practice of contemplative mathematics.

At a practical level, I wonder what if bringing students’ “focused attention to somatic experience” will result in their responses “I am sick of it”.