Por entre os ‘eus’ e os ‘nós’ - experienciados sob o prisma da matemática - tecidos em narrativas
Evangelista, Maria Tereza Fernandino
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This is a narrative study, that I perform with three former students from the Application College where I work as a Mathematics teacher. It is a text shaped from the perspective of Narrative Research (CLANDININ & CONNELLY) and, as such, an investigation that elects the experience as an object of study, in particular, the experiences of the aforementioned young learners with Mathematics throughout their educational background, as well as mine as a teacher and researcher who experiences her own study. It is aimed at knowing and understanding, narratively, the trajectories of these experiences and, thus, at deepening the ways of attributing meaning to them. For the construction of the texts, I chose to request the participants to write autobiographical narratives and to conduct individual narrative interviews. Thus, we share beautiful and thought-provoking stories that, in addition to confirming the great formative potential of narratives in the educational context, also line up for: the overvaluing of Mathematics as a school subject; the criticism to exams as instruments of evaluation; the importance of the teacher figure in the learning process; the longing for mathematical learning to be available to everyone; the perception that the educational process in Mathematics is related to negative feelings; the importance of the affective dimension in the process of teaching and learning Mathematics, among other aspects. But, far beyond any gaps in these young learners’ narratives, it is important to highlight that, from the accumulation of the unique experiences, each story is especially valuable when we look at them and deepen in their signs and links, not only in what concerns the mathematical school aspect, but in so many other dimensions important to human life. To comprehend the narrative nature of the texts produced with the participants, this study was composed by permeating the narrated experiences with the ones I had during the process of researching, deepening and writing, sometimes as a Mathematics teacher, sometimes as a researcher, always in an unfinished position, in search for better tones. The following social actors are also part of the composition process: renowned authors who ground this narrative endeavor; supporting characters who participate in a daily, ordinary, and essential way in the narrated stories; poets, musicians, writers, as well as the readers who allow themselves to be affected and transformed by the stories presented. Conclusively, our study indicates that: students' narratives about their experiences with the process of teaching, learning, and assessment of Mathematics are potentially formative because they reveal marks about this process, signalize to the redirection of pedagogical practices, problematize teaching and assessment strategies, provoke reflections and questions about the purposes and significations of Mathematics taught in schools, point to the need to restructure Mathematics teacher education courses and emphasize that, beyond the cognitive dimension, the educational process is only effective if aligned with the affective and formative needs of the learners. Lastly, in dealing with the permanent discovery and constitution of the narrative person/researcher I have been, I have experienced the challenge and boldness of exposing myself along these lines, having as my first motivation my experiences as a Mathematics teacher of young learners, whose voices gained permanent echo status in me.
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