Original Research

Film as teacher education genre: Developing student agency in the production of #Taximaths – How children make their world mathematical

Lara Ragpot
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 4, No 2 | a210 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v4i2.210 | © 2014 Lara Ragpot | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 December 2014 | Published: 24 December 2014

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Lara Ragpot, University of Johannesburg

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The article reports on the process of producing a film for students in a university course. The purpose of the production was to make local film material that could assist students in their learning of developmental cognitive psychology theory in general, but specifically also the mathematical cognition of children. Although the students in the production team set out as actors and technical helpers, they gradually appropriated their acting roles and the plot of the story to the extent that they learned the theory that the film was portraying. Not only did they show interest in the psychology texts and the story, but they also developed agency – they became the owners of the film. The argument of this paper is that a multimodal foundation in teacher education can give students multiple semiotic entry points, but also, if given the opportunity to make a dramatic film, they can learn the content of mathematical cognition while learning film production. The article argues that contemporary teacher education programmes are by their very nature briefed to be multimodal, because teachers’ work in schools in the 21st century requires more than language text and oral, in-person communication.


Teacher education, mathematical cognition, instructional documentary, cognitive development, developmental psychology, educational film


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