Constructivism in Education

By Leslie P. Steffe; Jerry Gale | Go to book overview

9
The Structuring of the Structures: Development and Function of Mathematizing as a Social Practice
Heinrich Bauersfeld IDM of Universitat BielefeldAn analysis that views classroom processes like the realization or living of a culture has at least to employ both psychological and sociological perspectives. Although fundamentally constructivist approaches exist in both disciplines, the task of integrating these different perspectives for mathematics education still seems to be underdeveloped. In an ongoing project, "The Social Formation of Mathematical Learning Processes," related attempts have been made based on the interpretation of video documents from elementary mathematics classrooms. The analyses have led to a challenging reinterpretation of
the expectations related to "discovery learning"
the functioning of usual "visualizations" (didactical means and materials--"embodiments")

The discussion refers to many classroom examples, and gives an outlook onto alternative classroom approaches.

The initial statement "I am a constructivist" has becoming a kind of an academic lip service in many disciplines. Consequent and radical application of this fundamental epistemological principle--although wanted--appears to be much rarer, at least in mathematics education. The serious adoption of the principle for the theoretical modeling of learning and teaching processes in mathematics indeed leads to a radical

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