Phenomenological Approach and Bakhtinian Dialogism: Epistemological Tensions and Methodological Responses

Keywords: dialogism, polyphonic narration, teachers' training, historical-cultural approach to mathematics education, phenomenological approach


In this article, I develop a methodological reflection based on research concerning the role of the history of mathematics in the context of pre-service teacher training. The purpose of the study was to describe the experience of six prospective secondary school mathematics teachers engaged in the reading of historical texts in a history of mathematics course. In the process of research, epistemological tensions emerged between, on the one hand, the need to account for a portion of the participants' intimate personal experience by deploying a phenomenological approach, and on the other hand, the convocation of a historical-cultural perspective of mathematics education focusing on social interaction and artifacts. The answers formulated in response to these epistemological tensions were methodological. I analyze in what way these tensions played a reflexive and emulator role developing both the research methodology and an innovative description adapted to the context of the study, i.e., a polyphonic narration.


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Author Biography

David Guillemette, Université du Québec à Montréal

David GUILLEMETTE is a professor at the Département de mathématiques at the Université du Québec à Montréal. From a historical-cultural perspective in mathematics education, his research interests focus on the role and potential of history of mathematics in the context of pre- and in-service teacher training. He is interested in qualitative research, especially in phenomenological, narrative, and participative approaches.

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