The Interplay of Psychology and Mathematics Education: From the Attraction of Psychology to the Discovery of the Social

Authors

  • Karen François,

  • Kathleen Coessens,

  • Jean Paul Van Bendegem


Correspondence: Karen François, Kathleen Coessens, Jean Paul Van Bendegem, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Room 5B425, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.

Email: kafranco@vub.ac.be; kcoessen@vub.ac.be; jpvbende@vub.ac.be

Abstract

It is a rather safe statement to claim that the social dimensions of the scientific process are accepted in a fair share of studies in the philosophy of science. It is a somewhat safe statement to claim that the social dimensions are now seen as an essential element in the understanding of what human cognition is and how it functions. But it would be a rather unsafe statement to claim that the social is fully accepted in the philosophy of mathematics. And we are not quite sure what kind of statement it is to claim that the social dimensions in theories of mathematics education are becoming more prominent, compared to the psychological dimensions. In our contribution we will focus, after a brief presentation of the above claims, on this particular domain to understand the successes and failures of the development of theories of mathematics education that focus on the social and not primarily on the psychological.

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