for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Caroline Yoon - Vol. 37 Num. 2 (2017)
 The writing mathematician


Popular culture casts mathematics and writing as opposites—a false dichotomy, which can be harmful for our discipline of mathematics education. Positioning writing outside the domain of the mathematician’s abilities and cultivated skillset can create doubt in the mathematician wishing to write—not that one cannot be both writer and mathematician, but that one’s mathematics training does not help, and may even hinder one’s preparation for writing. In this essay, I challenge the writing | mathematics dichotomy by offering three metaphors that observe similarities in writing and mathematics practice: writing as modelling, writing as problem-solving, and writing as proving.