The potential of photography for mathematics education and research–A literature review
Susanna Maria Oksanen 1 * , Markku S. Hannula 1 , Anu Laine 1
More Detail
1 Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FINLAND* Corresponding Author


This literature review examines the use of photography in educational research and in education, to learn how photography could be better used in teaching and learning mathematics and mathematics education research. The authors analyzed 125 publications published between 1975 and 2023 to identify different research methods and teaching solutions that utilize photography. Within educational research two main approaches that are often used combined were photo-elicitation (photographs are used in an interview as a stimulus) and photovoice (taking photographs is a way the participant communicates their perspective). Mathematics education research could also combine these methods, for example in identity research. Our findings regarding teaching show that photographs have an important role in connecting mathematics to the real world and for visualizing mathematics. The best way to engage students is when they take photographs of themselves as a starting point to mathematical activity. Based on this review we identify future exploratory directions and various research gaps.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Review Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, 2024, Volume 19, Issue 3, Article No: em0780

Publication date: 01 Jul 2024

Online publication date: 13 May 2024

Article Views: 522

Article Downloads: 208

Open Access References How to cite this article