Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education

2020 Edition
| Editors: Stephen Lerman

Interdisciplinary Approaches in Mathematics Education

  • Wolff-Michael RothEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15789-0_82


In the history of humanity, early forms of labor that provided for the satisfaction of basic needs – food, shelter, and clothing – gave rise to new, specialized forms through a progressive division of labor. Disciplines emerged – first stonemasons, farmers, and tailors and then mathematicians and mathematics teachers. Those who were highly skilled in one discipline were less so or had no skills in other disciplines. Eventually, theoretical disciplines emerged such as when some master craftsmen began to specialize in making building plans and others turned these plans into real buildings. Today, there is often very little communication between the disciplines, each of which forms a disciplinary “silo.” The idea of interdisciplinarity is to combine multiple (academic) disciplines into one activity. Whereas this may appear to be simple and straightforward, in practice it turns out that those participating in an interdisciplinary endeavor often find it difficult to work with...


Discipline Activity theory Object/motive Situated cognition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Cognitive ScienceUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Michéle Artigue
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Didactique André Revuz (EA4434)Université Paris-DiderotParisFrance