Counting or Caring: Examining a Nursing Aides Third Eye Using Bourdieus Concept of HabitusReport as inadecuate

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Adults Learning Mathematics, v9 n1 p69-84 Apr 2014

This article is derived from analysis of observations and an interview with, Anita, a nursing aide, who was followed in her work in a semi-emergency unit in Sweden. Based on an analysis of this information, it is suggested that the process of going from school to a workplace can be viewed as a transition between different mathematical activities, which involve and require learning. Although it is easy to see transitions occurring between different contexts, they may also occur within the boundaries of a workplace and be connected to critical moments in the execution of work tasks. Adopting a social critical perspective, this article initiates a discussion about the transitions between potentially mathematical activities in work and how the values given to these different activities can be understood. It is further suggested there is difficulty in recognizing some activities in work, because, often, they are over-shadowed by other competences and components needed in work, such as caring.

Descriptors: Allied Health Personnel, Mathematics, Observation, Interviews, Adult Learning, Personality Traits, Cultural Capital, Case Studies, Foreign Countries, Ethnography

Adults Learning Mathematics. 26 Tennyson Road, Kilburn, London NW6 7SA UK. e-mail: editor-i[at]; Web site:

Author: Johansson, Maria C.


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