Publication 1419

Glasersfeld E. von & Steffe L. P. (1991) Conceptual models in educational research and practice. Journal of Educational Thought 25(2): 91–103. Fulltext at http://cepa.info/1419
Traditionally, there has been a certain amount of detachment between teachers of mathematics and cognitively oriented educational scientists who endeavored to develop theories about the learning of mathematics. At present, however, there are signs of a rapprochement, at least on the part of some of the scientists, who have come to realize that their theories must ultimately be evaluated according to how much they can contribute to the improvement of educational practice. Healthy though this realization is, it at once raises problems of its own. At the outset there is the research scientists” inherent fear of getting bogged down in so many practical considerations that it will no longer be possible to come up with a theory that may satisfy their minimum requirements of generality and elegance. Then, when scientists do come up with a tentative theory, there is the difficulty of applying it in such a way that its practical usefulness is demonstrated. This would require either scientists” direct involvement in teaching or the professional teachers” willingness and freedom to become familiar with the theory and to incorporate it into actual teaching practice for a certain length of time. In both cases, it will help if scientists and teachers can establish a consensual domain. In other words, they must come to share some basic ideas on the process of education and the teaching of mathematics in particular.

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