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Reconstructing Mathematics Pedagogy from a Constructivist Perspective

Martin A. Simon
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Mar., 1995), pp. 114-145
DOI: 10.2307/749205
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/749205
Page Count: 32
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Reconstructing Mathematics Pedagogy from a Constructivist Perspective
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Abstract

Constructivist theory has been prominent in recent research on mathematics learning and has provided a basis for recent mathematics education reform efforts. Although constructivism has the potential to inform changes in mathematics teaching, it offers no particular vision of how mathematics should be taught; models of teaching based on constructivism are needed. Data are presented from a whole-class, constructivist teaching experiment in which problems of teaching practice required the teacher/researcher to explore the pedagogical implications of his theoretical (constructivist) perspectives. The analysis of the data led to the development of a model of teacher decision making with respect to mathematical tasks. Central to this model is the creative tension between the teacher's goals with regard to student learning and his responsibility to be sensitive and responsive to the mathematical thinking of the students.

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