Masculinities in MathematicseBook - 2006
Margaret Brown, Professor of Mathematical Education, King's College London
"The book speaks to me as one of those texts that will become seminal in mathematics education. It is original, refreshing, and despite a complicated plot, points to some ways forward. It is engagingly written, if at times perhaps a little bit no-nonsense in tone. It will be of interest to teachers and teacher educators, as well as providing a theoretical stance that should inform future research."
British Educational Research Journal
The study of mathematics, together with other 'gendered' subjects such as science and engineering, usually attracts more male than female pupils, particularly at more advanced levels. In this book Heather Mendick explores this phenomenon, addressing the important question of why more boys than girls choose to study mathematics. She combines new research with an original theoretical approach to argue that 'doing mathematics is doing masculinity'.
The book illuminates what studying mathematics means for both students and teachers and offers a broad range of insights into students' views and practices. In addition to the words of young people learning mathematics, the masculinity of mathematics is explored through historical material and cinematic representations. Heather Mendick discusses the ways in which the alignment of mathematics with masculinity creates tensions for girls and women doing the subject. These tensions are sensitively explored through interviews with young men and women, to show how doing mathematics fits or conflicts with their gender identities. Finally, the book explores the implications for teachers, including ways to promote gender equity in mathematics education.
This is key reading for students on courses in gender and education, mathematics education, gender and curriculum, and social justice.