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ERIC Number: EJ1068234
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1744-1803
Is "Connected Teaching" in Mathematics a Gender-Equitable Pedagogy for Adults?
Miller-Reilly, Barbara
Adults Learning Mathematics, v3 n1 p41-61 Apr 2008
"Connected teaching" is a feminist theory first proposed by Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger and Tarule (1996, p. 214) then related to the teaching of mathematics by Becker (1995, 1996), Buerk (1994b) and Morrow (1996). The theory of intellectual development elaborated by Belenky and her colleagues uncovered themes common to many women's lives, for example, those related to "silencing", "disempowerment" and "lack of voice" (Goldberger, 1996a, p. 7). Such experiences are common amongst adults who fear and avoid mathematics, both men and women. It therefore seems appropriate that this theory informs my teaching practice with such adults. This paper reports on a six-month supervised study course in mathematics taken by Charles, a 33-year-old businessman, who had a debilitating fear of mathematics. Connected teaching emphasizes "seeing the other, the student, in the student's own terms," hence "trusting their thinking and encouraging them to expand it" (Belenky et al., 1986, p. 227). So Charles and I "shared in the process" of mathematical problem solving (Becker, 1995 p. 168). Opportunities were also created for him to "weave together multiple aspects" of his life (Morrow & Morrow, 1995, p. 18), another goal of connected teaching. Overall there was a very successful outcome for Charles. After this course of study was completed he believed that mathematics was creative and that it involved a search for patterns. He expressed a distinctly more positive belief in himself as a learner of mathematics, more enjoyment of mathematics and, as he said, "general confidence" when it came to using mathematics in his workplace. This case study strongly suggests that connected strategies in teaching mathematics, a pedagogy which enhances women?s mathematical competence and confidence (Kalinowski & Buerk, 1995), can also improve the mathematical competence and confidence of men.
Adults Learning Mathematics. 26 Tennyson Road, Kilburn, London NW6 7SA UK. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A