Inclusion, exclusion and the disabling of mathematics learners

6th February 2020 : 16:30 - 18:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Subject Pedagogy

Speaker: Lulu Healy, Kings’ College London

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room D

Convener: Karen Skilling

Seminar Abstract


This talk will focus on aspects of our research programme aimed at building a more inclusive school mathematics. This programme is committed to challenging discriminatory visions of students’ potential for learning and to recognising how the contexts and tools through which they experience mathematics shape both their achievements and their sense of themselves as successful or unsuccessful learners. Activities and results that have emerged during collaborative partnerships between teachers and researchers that cross the boundaries between the domains of research and practice will be shared. These examples will explore if and how the hegemonic use of tools and/or curricula designed with some notion of a normal body in mind contributes to the disabling – even exclusion – of many learners who inhabit what come to be labelled as deficient or deviant bodies. Through engaging participants with alternative ways of working mathematically, designed to respect rather than deny difference, the aim will be to communicate how our findings have relevance beyond the particular contexts in which they initially emerged and contribute to the critiquing of existing school structures that threaten the mathematical well-being of many learners.


About the Speaker


Professor Lulu Healy is Professor of Mathematics at King’s College, London.

Lulu’s research interests focus on the challenges associated with building more inclusive school mathematics and in understanding the mathematical practices of learners with disabilities.
Her work includes investigating and designing forms of accessing and expressing mathematics that respects the divergent needs of all our students; contributing to the development of teaching strategies that recognise this diversity, and examining the relationships between sensory experiences and mathematical cognition.