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Abstract / Synopsis

In mathematics class, violence is carried out in some usually not recognized situations. In this article, I share some reflections on the topic inspired by some passages of Totality and Infinity, work of the French-Lithuanian philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995). I find violence by the teacher in not promoting students’ understanding of mathematics, in a distorted use of rhetoric, and in interrupting an ethical relation. This article analyses situations taken from class activities, focusing on the teacher’s presentation of mathematical content and students’ interventions. I also propose that the improvement of interventions in mathematics education is possible and suggest theoretical ideas for acting on situations of violence.

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