Pedagogical Tactfulness A fundament in inclusive mathematics education

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Ann-Louise Ljungblad


Situated within the field of inclusive mathematics education, this article presents empirical research from a microethnographic study exploring teacher-student relationships. More specifically, the searchlight was aimed at how math teachers relate to their students when they teach. The classroom study is based on a rich empirical data set collected during a year of field work: video-recorded math lessons, observations and dialogues and interviews in six classes. Four math teachers participated together with 100 students from compulsory school, upper secondary school and schools for children with learning disabilities. Based on a relational perspective on teaching, Pedagogical Relational Teachership, PeRT, (Ljungblad, 2018, 2019) a microanalysis was carried out, about how the teacher’s acknowledgement to students emerged in interpersonal, face-to-face communication. Through a relational turn in mathematics education, exploring interpersonal relationships, an extended relational understanding of situated teaching was acquired. The results illuminated how teachers’ pedagogical tactfulness emerged as a pedagogical fundament in inclusive educational environment. The results also highlighted a moment of specific importance in mathematics education: at that second, when the incalculable (Biesta, 2001, 2007) emerges, the teachers refrain from assessment and, instead, listen and create a space for the students to speak with their unique voices. Over time, such a relational teachership creates trustful and respectful teacher-student relationships.

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Ljungblad, A.-L. (2020). Pedagogical Tactfulness: A fundament in inclusive mathematics education. Educare - Vetenskapliga Skrifter, (4), 60–87.


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