TLRP: Storying mathematical identities with cultural models
When we build our narratives of identity in interviews, we make use of “cultural models”, culturally normative rules, schemas, ways of describing people, activities and ways of being. In this study we identify cultural models used by two mathematics learners in the stories they told us about their lives, including their experiences of learning mathematics and their disposition to study mathematics in the future. Each model provides a tool for identifying or dis-identifying with mathematics. While some models might be thought more ‘positive’, and others more ‘negative’, students positioned with strong imagined life stories or ambitions can turn these models to their own purposes. Thus maths is ‘hard’ can sometimes be storied as ‘challenging and fun’ rather than ‘too hard and boring’. The significance of the educational culture is discussed.