Research Staff Interests

Prof Elizabeth  de Freitas

Biography

Elizabeth de Freitas is Professor of STEM Education. Her research focuses on philosophical investigations of mathematics, science and technology, pursuing the implications and applications of this work in the learning sciences. Her recent work examines gesture, sensation, and embodiment in various kinds of mathematical activity, with the aim of developing a new materialist philosophy of mathematics. She also studies the material and social semiotics of STEM classrooms, seeking new research methods that can address biosocial entanglements. Elizabeth de Freitas writes extensively on social science research methodology, exploring alternative ways of engaging with digital data, and developing experimental research methods that draw on speculative computing and inventive diagramming. She has published three books and over fifty chapters and articles on a range of educational topics.

Research Interests

  • The role of gesture, sensation and language in mathematical activity
  • Embodied cognition, material phenomenology, inclusive materialism and related theories within the learning sciences
  • Inventive diagramming, visualization and creativity in STEM
  • Biopolitics and biosocial directions in education research
  • Science and Technology Studies Computation and software culture studies

Research Groups

STEM Education and Learning Technology
Cultural Studies of Children and Childhood
Research Methodology and Theory

Research Projects

Mathematics and the body: Material entanglements

New empiricisms and the computational turn

Social semiotics of classroom discourse

Books

de Freitas, E. & Sinclair, N. (2014) Mathematics and the body: Material entanglements in the classroom Cambridge University Press. This book awarded Outstanding Book Award from Curriculum Studies Division, American Education Research Association.

de Freitas, E. & Nolan, K. (eds) (2008) Opening the research text: Critical insights and In(ter)ventions into mathematics education Book Series: Mathematics Education Library. New York, NY:Springer Verlag

Refereed Journal Articles

de Freitas, E. (2015) Classroom video data and the time-image; An-archiving the student body. Deleuze Studies 9(3) pp 318-336

de Freitas, E. & Palmer, A. (2015) How scientific concepts come to matter in early childhood education: Rethinking the concept of force. Cultural Studies in Science Education DOI 10.1007/s11422-014-9652-6

de Freitas, E. & Curinga, M. (2015) New materialist approaches to the study of language and identity: Assembling the post-human subject. Curriculum Inquiry 49(3) pp 249-265

Daugbjerg, P., de Freitas, E. & Valero, P. (2015) Mapping the entangled ontology of science teachers' lived experiences. Cultural Studies of Science Education 10(3) pp 777-801

de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2015). Tense and aspect in word problems about motion: Diagram, gesture and the felt experience of time. Mathematics Education Research Journal 27(3) pp 311-330 DOI 10.1007/s13394-014-0139-2

de Freitas, E. & Ferrara, F. (2015) Movement, memory, and mathematics: Henri Bergson and the ontology of learning. Studies in Philosophy of Education 33(6) pp 565-585

de Freitas, E. (2014) How theories of perception deploy the line: Reconfiguring students' bodies through topo-philosophy. Educational Theory 64(3) pp 285-301

de Freitas, E. & McCarthy, M.J. (2014) (Dis)orientation and spatial sense: Topological thin-king in the middle grades. Pensamiento Numerica, PNA 9(1) pp 41-51

de Freitas, E. (2013) The mathematical event: Mapping the axiomatic and the problematic in school mathematics. Studies in Philosophy and Education 32 pp 581-599

de Freitas, E. (2013) What were you thinking? A Deleuzian/Guattarian analysis of communication in the mathematics classroom. Educational Philosophy and Theory 45(3) pp 287-300

de Freitas, E. & Sinclair, N. (2013) New materialist ontologies in mathematics education: The body in/of mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics 83(3) pp 453-470

Sinclair, N., de Freitas, E. & Ferrara, F. (2013) Virtual encounters: The murky and furtive world of mathematical inventiveness. ZDM – The International Journal of Mathematics Education 45(2) pp 239-252

de Freitas, E. & Bentley, S. (2012) Material encounters with mathematics: The case for museum-based cross-curricular integration. International Journal of Educational Research 3 pp 36-47

de Freitas, E. (2012) The classroom as rhizome: New strategies for diagramming knotted interaction. Qualitative Inquiry 18(7) pp 557-570

de Freitas, E. (2012) The diagram as story: Unfolding the event-structure of the mathematical diagram. For the Learning of Mathematics 32(2) pp 27-33

de Freitas, E., Wagner, D., Esmonde, E., Christine, Reid, D. (2012). Exploring authority and positioning in mathematics classroom discourse: Professional development workshop activities for teachers. The Canadian Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education 12(2) pp 137-159

Zolkower, B. & de Freitas, E. (2012). Mathematical meaning-making in whole-class conversation: Functional-grammatical study of a paradigmatic text. Language and Dialogue 2(1) pp 60-79

de Freitas, E. & Sinclair, N. (2012) Diagram, gesture, agency: Theorizing embodiment in the mathematics classroom. Educational Studies in Mathematics 80(1-2) pp 133-152

de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2011) Developing teacher capacity to explore non-routine problems through a focus on the social semiotics of mathematics classroom discourse. Research in Mathematics Education 13(3) pp 229-247

de Freitas, E. (2011) Parkour and the built environment: Spatial practices and the plasticity of school buildings. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing 27(3) pp 209-220

de Freitas, E. (2010) Making mathematics public: Aesthetics as the distribution of the sensible. Educational Insights 13(1) Special Issue: Performing the sign: Mathematics, democracy and the arts. University of British Columbia Press

de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2009) Using social semiotics to prepare mathematics teachers to teach for social justice. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education 12 (3) pp 187-203

de Freitas, E. & Paton, J. (2009). (De) facing the self: Poststructural disruptions of the auto ethnographic text. Qualitative Inquiry 15 (3) pp 483-498

de Freitas, E. (2008) Critical mathematics education: Recognizing the ethical dimension of problem solving. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education 3(2) pp 79-95

de Freitas, E. (2008) Mathematics and its other: Dislocating the feminine. Gender and Education 20(3) pp 281-290

de Freitas, E. (2008) Troubling teacher identity: Preparing mathematics teachers to teach for diversity. Teaching Education 19(1) pp 43-55

de Freitas, E. & McAuley, S. (2008) Teaching for diversity by troubling whiteness: Strategies for isolated white communities. Race, Ethnicity and Education 11(4) pp 429-442

de Freitas, E. (2008) Bad intentions: Using fiction to interrogate research intentions. Educational Insights 12(1)

de Freitas, E. (2007) Research fictions: Arts-informed narratives that disrupt the authority of the text. Interchange: A Journal of Education 38(4) pp 335-350

Kooy, M. & de Freitas, E. (2007) The diaspora sensibility in teacher identity: Locating self through story. The Canadian Journal of Education 30(3) pp 865-880

de Freitas, E. (2007) Com(p)osting presence in the poetry of Carl Leggo: Writing practices that disperse the presence of the author. Language and Literacy: A Canadian Educational E-journal 9(1)

Giles, J., Ryan, D., Bellaveau, de Freitas, E., & Casey, R. (2006) Teaching style and learning in a quantitative classroom. Active Learning in Higher Education Journal 7(3) pp 213-225

de Freitas, E. (2005) Pre-service teachers and the re-inscription of whiteness: Disrupting dominant cultural codes through textual analysis. Teaching Education 16(2) pp 151-164

de Freitas, E. (2004) Plotting intersections along the political axis: The voices of dissenting mathematics teachers. Educational Studies in Mathematics 55 pp 259-274

de Freitas, E. (2004) (Dis)locating gender within the universal: Teaching philosophy through narrative. The Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies 2(2) pp 61-72

de Freitas, E. (2003) Contested positions: How fiction informs empathic research. International Journal of Education & the Arts: A Journal of Scholarship 4(7)

Non-refereed Articles

de Freitas, E. & Sinclair, E. (2014) The politics of the mathematics aesthetic: Curricular consensus and acts of dissensus. Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal (28) ISSN 1465-2978 (Online)

de Freitas, E. (2007) School mathematics and curriculum integration: Challenging teacher identity within the hierarchy of disciplines. Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal

de Freitas, E. (2003) Bad intentions: The research interview. Arts-Informed: The Electronic Journal for the Centre of Arts-Informed Research 2(1) pp 305 Toronto: Backalong Books

Kooy, M., de Freitas, E. et. al. (2001) Mapping the movement of teacher development. Among Teachers Calgary, AL: Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development.

Book Chapters

de Freitas, E. (2014) Diagramming the classroom as topological assemblage. In M. Carlin (ed) For a people-yet-to-come: Deleuze and Guattari, politics and education. New York: Continuum Publishing pp 95-117

de Freitas, E. (2013) Mapping the materiality of mathematical discourse. In D. Masny (Ed.) Cartographies of becoming in education: A Deleuzian perspective. Continuum Publishing. 127-140.

de Freitas, E. (2013) Interrogating our research intentions. In Patricia Leavey (Ed.) Fiction as Research Practice: Short Stories, Novellas, and Novels. Left Coast Press. 195-210

Sinclair, N. & de Freitas, E. (2013) The virtual curriculum: New ontologies for a mobile mathematics. In Y. Li (Ed.) Mathematics curriculum in school education. New York: Springer. 559-580

de Freitas, E. (2012) The emotional labor of imagining otherwise: Undoing the mastery model of mathematics teacher identity. In J. Faulkner (Ed.) Disrupting pedagogies and teaching the knowledge society: Countering conservative norms with creative practices. IGI Global Publishing. 174-185.

de Freitas, E. (2010) Regulating mathematics classroom discourse: Text, context and intertextuality. In M. Walshaw (Ed.) Unpacking pedagogy: New perspectives for mathematics. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing Inc. 131-161

de Freitas, E. (2009) School mathematics and curriculum integration: Challenging teacher identity within the hierarchy of disciplines. In P. Ernest, B. Greer & B. Sriraman (Eds) Critical Issues in Mathematics Education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. 305-318

de Freitas, E. (2008) Critical mathematics education: Recognizing the ethical dimension of problem solving. In L. Wallowitz (Ed.) Critical literacy as resistance: Social justice pedagogy. Peter Lang Publishing. 47-64

de Freitas, E. (2008) Splitting teacher identity: The disjunction between personal narrative and procedural discourse in the mathematics classroom. In T. Brown (Ed.) The psychology of mathematics education: A psychoanalytic displacement. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishing. 139-155

de Freitas, E. (2008) Fear of the Political; Timeless Pleasure; Writing as the intrusive third. Three response chapters in E. de Freitas & K. Nolan (Eds.) Opening the research text: Critical insights and In(ter)ventions into mathematics education. New York, NY: Springer Verlag. 63-64, 93-96, 205-207

Nolan, K. & de Freitas, E. (2008) Foreword to the research text: Mathematics education under cross examination. In E. de Freitas & K. Nolan (Eds.) Opening the research text: Critical insights and In(ter)ventions into mathematics education. New York, NY: Springer Verlag. 1-11

de Freitas, E. (2008) Interrogating reflexivity: Art, research, and the desire for presence. In A.L. Cole & J.G. Knowles (Eds.) The Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, methodologies, Examples, and Issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 469-476

de Freitas, E. (2008). Disrupting character development: On not knowing who we are. In J.G. Knowles, A. Cole, L. Neilsen, & S. Promislow (Eds.) Creating scholartistry: Imagining the arts-informed thesis or dissertation. Halifax, NS: Backalong Books. 188-197

de Freitas, E. (2004) Reclaiming rigor as trust: The playful process of writing fiction. In A.L. Cole, J.G. Knowles, L. Nielsen, & T. Luciana (Eds.) Provoked by art: Theoretical perspectives in arts-informed research. Halifax & Toronto: Backalong Books & The Centre for Arts-Informed Research. 128-142

Book Reviews

de Freitas, E. (2012) Teacher identity: Harsh lessons learned from the micro-management of teachers and teacher education. Review of Tony Brown and Olwen McNamara Becoming a mathematics teacher: identity and identifications (Springer, 2011). Educational Studies in Mathematics. 81 (1), 133-137

de Freitas, E. (2012) Review of Reuben Hersh & Vera John-Steiner, Loving and hating mathematics: Challenging the myths of mathematical life (Princeton University Press, (2011) Teachers College Record. January 2012

Journal & Book Series Editorships & Editorial Board Membership

Associate Editor: Educational Studies in Mathematics

International Editorial Board: Curriculum Inquiry

Keynote Addresses or Prestigious Public Lectures

de Freitas, E. (2015) Beyond Perception. Anthropology Department, Aberdeen University, Scotland. Sept 1-4. Invited Paper presentation: Material encounters and inventive diagramming: What (kind of mathematics) can a body do?

de Freitas, E. (2015) Number sense, calculating matter, and immanence. Keynote presentation. Summer Institute in Qualitative Inquiry: Putting theory to work. Education and Social Research Institute. Manchester Metropolitan University. July 9-11

de Freitas, E. (2014) Alternative approaches to the learning of mathematics and science: Concepts, creativity and inclusive materialism. Invited presentation. Department of Math and Science Education. Stockholm University, SW. October

de Freitas, E. (2013) Education and the body. Invited presentation. Aalborg University. Aalborg, Denmark. October

de Freitas, E. (2013) Factoring the body into student learning. Invited presentation. Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

de Freitas, E. (2013) Discourse and materiality in mathematics education. Invited Presentation. Waikato University,Tauranga, New Zealand

de Freitas, E. & Sincalir, N. (2012) New materialism and mathematics. San Diego State University. Invited Presentation. Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education. Distinguished Lecturer Series. November

International Recognition

Advisory Panel member: Informath: Mathematics to enrich learning experiences in science and art museums. Project (Oct. 2013 –Oct. 2017) funded by the National Science Foundation. PI: Ricardo Nemirovsky, Co-PI: Molly Kendon. San Diego State's Center for Resarch in Mathematics and Science Education, San Diego State University.

Coordinator (1 of 5) for the TSG Social and Political Dimensions of Mathematics Education for 2016 ICME (International Commission on Mathematical Education) to be held in Hamburg, Germany in 2016.

Major Awards, Prizes & Honorary Degrees

Outstanding Book Award 2015: American Education Research Association, Division B, Curriculum Studies.

Research-based Contributions to Practitioner and Academic Conferences

Invitation-only Conferences

2014 Data Camp: New materialist methodologies. Invited participant in Workshop funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Organized by Stephanie Springgay, University of Toronto. Toronto, Ontario

2014 Beyond Reflexivity and Advocacy: Exploring the Ontological Turn in Educational Research. Invited participant (of 18 international scholars). Conference funded by the American Education Research Association. Organized by Jerry Rosiek & Lisa Mazzei. University of Oregon. Eugene, Oregon

2013 Post-constructivist Qualitative Research Methodologies. Funded by Swedish Government. Invited participant (of about 25 international scholars) organized by Hillevi Lens-Taguchi, Anna Palmer & Lisa Mazzei. Stockholm University

2010 Interrelations of the social and the individual in mathematics classrooms. Invited participant (of 7 international scholars) in research conference. Hosted by Christine Knipping. Acadia University, NS. May.

2008 International Conference on Equity and Discourse: Creating Equitable discourse in the mathematics classroom. Invited participant (of approx. 25 international scholars) funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Organizers: Jeff Choppin, Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, David Wagner. Rochester, NY. May

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings

de Freitas, E. & McCarthy, MJ. (2013) (Dis) orientation and spatial sense: Topological thinking in the middle grades. Conference of the European Research in Mathematics Education Council. Antalya, Turkey 1-10

de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2011) The social semiotics of mathematics classroom discourse: Developing teacher capacity to explore non-routine problems in urban classrooms. In proceedings of Episteme: A Biannual Conference to Review Research in Science, Technology and Mathematics Education. 329-334

de Freitas, E. & Zolkower, B. (2010) Discursive authority in the mathematics classroom: Developing teacher capacity to analyze interactions in terms of modality and modulation. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Mathematics Education and Society (Berlin, March) (Eds.: U. Gellert, E. Jablonka, C. Morgan) 229-239.

Zolkower, B. & de Freitas, E. (2010) What's in a text: Engaging teachers in the study of whole-class conversations. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Mathematics Education and Society (Berlin, March) (Eds. U. Gellert, E. Jablonka, C. Morgan) 508-518

de Freitas, E. (2009). Decoding the discourse of difficulty in high school mathematics. In M. Tzekaki, M. Kaldrimidou & H. Sakonidis (Eds.) Proceedings of the 33rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 365

de Freitas, E. (2008) Symposium on Opening the research text: Mathematics education under cross examination. The 5th International Conference on Mathematics Education and Society, February 2008. 128-131

de Freitas, E. (2008) Key Note Presentation (Response to Jurdak; Equity-in-Quality). The 5th International Conference on Mathematics Education and Society, February 2008. 74-78

de Freitas, E. (2008) Enacting identity through narrative: Interrupting the procedural discourse in mathematics classrooms. The 5th International Conference on Mathematics Education and Society, February 2008 272-282

de Freitas, E. (2005) The unreliable narrator in narrative research. In B. Randall & R. Furlong (Eds.) Narrative Matters Conference Proceedings 226-236

Areas of Post-graduate Supervision

  • The role of gesture, sensation and language in mathematical activity
  • New materialisms and related theories within the learning sciences
  • Inventive diagramming, visualization and creativity in STEM
  • Biopolitics and biosocial directions in education research
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Computation and software culture studies

 

 

 

 

Position/Post: Professor, STEM Education
Tel: 0161-247-2325
Email: l.de-freitas@mmu.ac.uk
Location: Brooks Building