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Mathematical Caring Relations in Action

Amy J. Hackenberg 

May 2010, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 236

In a small-scale, 8-month teaching experiment, the author aimed to establish and maintain mathematical caring relations (MCRs) with 4 6th-grade students. From a teacher’s perspective, establishing MCRs involves holding the work of orchestrating mathematical learning for students together with an orientation to monitor and respond to energetic fluctuations that may accompany student–teacher interactions. From a student’s perspective, participating in an MCR involves some openness to the teacher’s interventions in the student’s mathematical activity and some willingness to pursue questions of interest. In this article, the author elucidates the nature of establishing MCRs with 2 of the 4 students in the study and examines what is mathematical about these caring relations.

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