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Oral history and Mathematics Education

Antonio Vicente Marafioti Garnica, editor
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
History of Mathematics Education
[Reviewed by
Blain Patterson
, on
Oral History and Mathematics Education is a collection of papers that describe the history of the use of oral narratives in mathematics education research edited by Antonio Vicente Marafioti Garnica. The methodology of oral narratives provides a way to tell the stories of individuals who otherwise do not have a voice and was first applied to the research area of mathematics education in Brazil during the early 2000s through collaboration between a team of mathematics educators, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, psychologists, artists and philosophers. Each chapter in Oral History and Mathematics Education is written by a subset of these collaborators who present various perspectives of the use of oral narratives to study the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Although this book can, in general, be read à la carte, one should first read Chapter 1 (Oral History and Mathematics Education: An Overview) prior to diving into any of the remaining chapters. Especially for those not familiar with the use of oral narratives in mathematics education, Chapter 1 provides the reader with an overview of this methodology. However, once the reader has their mind wrapped around oral narratives, they may feel inclined to read the remaining chapters based on their research needs and interests. These remaining chapters (2-7) continue to present both concepts and procedures related to the application of oral history in mathematics education research through various theoretical and philosophical perspectives. 
Since this book was written by an interdisciplinary team of researchers, Oral History and Mathematics Education may be recommended to anyone looking to employ the oral narrative methodology in their own research or better understand how the landscape of mathematics education research is ever-changing. Moreover, those interested in the history of mathematics education as an academic discipline may also find this book particularly interesting. Oral History and Mathematics Education could also be used as a supplemental textbook for a graduate-level mathematics education course focused on research methodologies. This book provides the reader with a balance of theoretical and practical aspects of the use of oral narratives in mathematics education and would be a useful addition to the bookshelf of anyone conducting research in this area.


Dr. Blain Patterson ( is Visiting Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Virginia Military Institute. His research focuses on teacher content knowledge as well as improving teaching and learning in undergraduate mathematics classrooms.