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Working mathematically
Working mathematically

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1.1  Memories of learning

Activity2  Memories of learning

Review your most vivid memories concerned with learning mathematics. In particular, try to recall the following.

  • Your own learning of mathematics as a learner in school – what were your perceptions and emotions as you participated in those lessons? Does any specific classroom incident come to mind?
  • Your experiences of learning mathematics that happened outside the classroom.
  • Your observation of children learning mathematics – try to recall a moment when you were aware of a particular learner and their engagement, or lack of engagement, with the mathematics.

Make brief notes in your notebook that will help you recall any of the incidents invoked above.


One teacher recalled how things frequently practised in early childhood could become automated without one realising it. She wrote:

As a small child I used to count out loud the stairs in our house when I went up and down. There were fourteen every time. This habit has stuck with me and I do it subconsciously now. Most houses (so I’ve found) have fourteen stairs. When we moved to our current house I didn’t realise I was counting the stairs but the very first time I climbed them I said, ‘My goodness, how odd, there are fifteen stairs’. I checked. There were! I still count them now.

Having thought about your personal experiences of learning mathematics the next activity will provide you with an opportunity to think about the way you view the learning of mathematics.