Mathematics Education as a Research Domain: A Search for Identity

An ICMI Study Book 1

  • Anna Sierpinska
  • Jeremy Kilpatrick

Part of the New ICMI Studies Series book series (NISS, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. The ICMI Study Conference

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Anna Sierpinska, Jeremy Kilpatrick
      Pages 3-32
  3. Mathematics Education as a Research Discipline

  4. Goals, Orientations, and Results of Research in Mathematics Education

About this book


No one disputes how important it is, in today's world, to prepare students to un­ derstand mathematics as well as to use and communicate mathematics in their future lives. That task is very difficult, however. Refocusing curricula on funda­ mental concepts, producing new teaching materials, and designing teaching units based on 'mathematicians' common sense' (or on logic) have not resulted in a better understanding of mathematics by more students. The failure of such efforts has raised questions suggesting that what was missing at the outset of these proposals, designs, and productions was a more profound knowledge of the phenomena of learning and teaching mathematics in socially established and culturally, politically, and economically justified institutions - namely, schools. Such knowledge cannot be built by mere juxtaposition of theories in disci­ plines such as psychology, sociology, and mathematics. Psychological theories focus on the individual learner. Theories of sociology of education look at the general laws of curriculum development, the specifics of pedagogic discourse as opposed to scientific discourse in general, the different possible pedagogic rela­ tions between the teacher and the taught, and other general problems in the inter­ face between education and society. Mathematics, aside from its theoretical contents, can be looked at from historical and epistemological points of view, clarifying the genetic development of its concepts, methods, and theories. This view can shed some light on the meaning of mathematical concepts and on the difficulties students have in teaching approaches that disregard the genetic development of these concepts.


Mathematica evolution logic mathematics sociology

Editors and affiliations

  • Anna Sierpinska
    • 1
  • Jeremy Kilpatrick
    • 2
  1. 1.Concordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1998
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-6186-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-5194-8
  • Series Print ISSN 1387-6872
  • Buy this book on publisher's site