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ERIC Number: EJ907521
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0228-0671
The Eye as a Theoretician: Seeing Structures in Generalizing Activities
Radford, Luis
For the Learning of Mathematics, v30 n2 p2-7 2010
In this article, I focus on what can be termed "the domestication of the eye"--that is to say, the lengthy process during which we come to see and recognize things according to "efficient" cultural means. This is the process that converts the eye into a sophisticated intellectual organ--a "theoretician" as Marx put it. In particular, I focus on the way in which teachers create the possibility for students to perceive things in certain ways and encounter a cultural mode of seeing. Drawing on the work of Lev Vygotsky and Edmund Husserl, in the first part of the article I present some theoretical ideas. In the second part I discuss two episodes from a Grade 2 class. I argue that the students' encounter with cultural forms of seeing is a point of tension in classroom activity. This tension results from the confrontation of idiosyncratic and historical-cultural perspectives and may be resolved in artifact-mediated multi-layered dynamic zones of proximal development. In the Grade 2 example, the tension is resolved through the reaching of a poetic moment: the poesis of objectification--a moment in which the disclosing of the unfamiliar and the unexpected is aesthetically achieved. I try to show how the poetic moment is underpinned by a complex inter-personal link of signs, gestures, words, and rhythms.
FLM Publishing Association. 382 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A