The im|perfection in/of (doing) mathematics
Jean-François Maheux

Mathematics is often considered a “perfect”, flawless, orderly, stable-yet-evolving field of investigation to which students are introduced, which some authors found detrimental to teachers and students. There are however perspectives that recognize how mathematics and mathematical activity also intrinsically imply working in disorder, accepting uncertainty, making mistakes, going along with ambiguity, and so on,. Some analysis of (doing) mathematics even suggest taking perfection and imperfection dialectically (as productively defining one another in opposition), and not only as one-sided notions; something that can be embraced by the term “im|perfection” of (doing) mathematics. Scattered evidence show the significance of this dialectic in/for mathematics education, but it has not yet been fully considered in our field.

This research aims to empirically document and theorize the mathematical activity arising when students are immersed in mathematical situations in which the im|perfection of (doing) mathematics is salient and brought to the fore.

Some publication related to this project are:

  • Maheux, J.F. (2016). Sort-of-Right Mathematics,FLM.
  • Maheux, J.F. (2016). Wabi-Sabi Mathematics,Jounal of Humanistic Mathematics.
  • Maheux, J.F. (2016). Papert’s Sort-of-Right Mathematics, Proceedings of the Constructionism 2016 Conference. Bangkok.