Publication 5915

Sierpinska A. & Lerman S. (1996) Epistemologies of mathematics and mathematics education. In: Bishop A. J., Clements M. A., Keital C., Kilpatric J. & Laborde C. (eds.) International handbook of mathematics education. Springer, PLACE: 827–876.
This chapter addresses issues concerning epistemology, as they relate to mathematics and education. It commences with an examination of some of the main epistemological questions concerning truth, meaning and certainty, and the different ways they can be interpreted. It examines epistemologies of the ‘context of justification’ and of the ‘context of discovery’, foundationalist and non-foundationalist epistemologies of mathematics, historico-critical, genetic, socio-historical and cultural epistemologies, and epistemologies of meaning. \\In the second part of the chapter, after a brief look at epistemology in relation to the statements of mathematics education, epistemologies in mathematics education become the main focus of attention. Controversial issues within a number of areas are considered: the subjective-objective character of mathematical knowledge; the role in cognition of social and cultural context; and relations between language and knowledge. The major tenets of constructivism, socio-cultural views, interactionism, the French didactique, and epistemologies of meaning are compared. Relationships between epistemology and a theory of instruction, especially in regard to didactic principles, are also considered.
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