This paper addresses the role of mathematical paradoxes in fostering polymathy among pre-service elementary teachers. The results of a 3-year study with 120 students are reported with implications for mathematics pre-service education as well as interdisciplinary education. A hermeneutic-phenomenological approach is used to recreate the emotions, voices and struggles of students as they tried to unravel Russell’s paradox presented in its linguistic form. Based on the gathered evidence some arguments are made for the benefits and dangers in the use of paradoxes in mathematics pre-service education to foster polymathy, change beliefs, discover structures and open new avenues for interdisciplinary pedagogy.
Bharath Sriraman, editor of The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast, has written an article that was published in ZDM last week. The article is entitled Mathematical paradoxes as pathways into beliefs and polymathy: an experimental inquiry. Here is the abstract of the article: