Learning Discourse

Discursive approaches to research in mathematics education

  • Editors
  • Carolyn Kieran
  • Ellice Forman
  • Anna Sfard

About this book


The authors of this volume claim that mathematics can be usefully re-conceptualized as a special form of communication. As a result, the familiar discussion of mental schemes, misconceptions, and cognitive conflict is transformed into a consideration of activity, patterns of interaction, and communication failure. By equating thinking with communicating, the discursive approach also deconstructs the problematic dichotomy between "individual" and "social" research perspectives. Although each author applies his or her own analyses to the discourse generated by students and teachers grappling with mathematical problems, their joint aim is to put discursive research into the limelight and to spur thinking about its nature and its possible advantages and pitfalls. This volume is therefore addressed both to those interested in specific questions regarding classroom communication, and to those who are looking for a general conceptual lens with which to tackle the complexity of mathematical teaching and learning.


Action Problem Solving communication education learning mathematics education

Bibliographic information