|Celia Hoyles (UK)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Richard Noss (UK)||RNOSS@Ioe.ac.uk|
Our recent work with a variety of professionals in work settings has
convinced us of the superficiality of the (widespread) view that most
professional life has little mathematics in it. There does exist a rich
seam of mathematical activity which people exhibit in their working lives,
if we know where and when to look, and if we do not rest content to equate
reality with the stories people tell about it. So our starting point has
been that by studying carefully the kinds of problems professionals actually
solve, we can begin to make visible a range of activities that can usefully
be described as mathematical, in terms of their participation - at least
at some level - in the manipulation and interpretation of quantitative
and spatial data and relationships. This kind of mathematics seldom comes
in what Jean Lave calls "boxed products of calculation". On
the contrary, it turns out that there is almost invariably a subtle and
reciprocal mediation of both professional and mathematical knowledge.
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