# Instrumental and Relational Understanding in Mathematics Education

**DOI:**https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15789-0_79

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## Characteristics

Richard Skemp (1919–1995) was a British mathematics educator and educational psychologist who was very prominent in the field of mathematics education in the 1970s. Skemp’s writings [particularly his two books – *The Psychology of* Learning Mathematics (1971) and *Intelligence*, Learning, and Action (1979)] articulated a theory of intelligent learning, in which relational and instrumental understanding played a prominent role. Skemp first popularized the terms relational and instrumental understanding in an article published in 1976 in *Mathematics Teaching*. This article was subsequently published in the United States in 1977 in the *Arithmetic Teacher* (a professional journal published by the American organization National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) and also included as a chapter in an expanded American edition of *The Psychology of Learning Mathematics*, published in 1987.

According to Skemp, credit for the origination of the terms relational and instrumental...

## Keywords

Instrumental Relational Skemp Understanding Algorithms Knowledge Conceptual Procedural## References

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