Publication 6863

Proulx J., Simmt E. & Towers J. (2009) The enactivist theory of cognition and mathematics education research: Issues of the past, current questions and future directions. In: Tzekaki M., Kaldrimidou M. & Sakonidis H. (eds.) Proceedings of the 33rd conference of the international group for the psychology of mathematics education. Volume 1. P. M. E., Thessaloniki: 249–278. Fulltext at
Excerpt: A number of intentions triggered this research forum on enactivism and mathematics education research, and those are significant to highlight as they have in return structured the content and form that this forum takes. First, there has been and continues to be a substantial amount of research and writing on issues of enactivism undertaken by mathematics education researchers; thus we wanted to highlight and synthesize this body of research. At the same time, although much research has been conducted within the enactivist perspective, many of those contributions, and their authors, are not always well known and have often been seen merely as “interesting” orientations or “alternative” perspectives – but clearly not mainstream. Because we believe enactivism offers an insightful orientation which shows promise for enhancing our understanding of mathematics teaching and learning, we wanted to bring forth the nature and wide spectrum of enactivist contributions in order to share and create dialogue with the PME community about significant issues raised through this orientation. A third intention is in reaction to what might be thought of as a hegemony of constructivism in the mathematics education literature. We believe that enactivism, as a theory of cognition, offers a more encompassing and enlightening perspective on learning, teaching, and epistemology. Therefore, the following concerns will orient and be continuously present in the research forum unfoldings: retrospectives (as well as perspectives and prospectives) on research studies and writing done on enactivism in mathematics education will be shared; contributors will focus on insightful features that enactivism offers us; particularities of enactivism as a theory of cognition will permeate all discussions and presentations; and finally, but not least, interactions and discussions will take place about the ideas put forward.


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