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Comparing theoretical perspectives in describing mathematics departments: complexity and activity


Beswick, K and Watson, A and De Geest, E, Comparing theoretical perspectives in describing mathematics departments: complexity and activity, Educational Studies in Mathematics: An International Journal, 75, (2) pp. 153-170. ISSN 0013-1954 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2010 Springer Science + Business Media

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10649-010-9248-3


We draw on two studies of mathematics departments in 11-18 comprehensive maintained schools in England to compare and contrast the insights provided by differing theoretical perspectives. In one study, activity theory was used to describe common features of the work of three departments. In the other, a mathematics department was viewed and analysed as a complex system. In both cases, it was the learning of the departments as systems rather than of individuals that was of interest. The affordances and limitations of the analytical perspectives are discussed. Taken as a whole, this paper opens up the workings of school mathematics departments in a country which has a strong department culture. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mathematics Departments, Activity Theory, Complexity Theory, Systems
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Mathematics and numeracy curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Management, resources and leadership
UTAS Author:Beswick, K (Professor Kim Beswick)
ID Code:67188
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2011-02-28
Last Modified:2014-12-19
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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