ERIC Number: ED310914
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Alternative Perspectives on Knowing Mathematics in Elementary Schools. Elementary Subjects Center Series No. 11.
Putnam, Ralph T.; And Others
Many mathematics educators and researchers agree that current mathematics instruction in elementary and secondary schools focuses too much on efficient computation and not enough on mathematical understanding, problem solving, and reasoning. But beyond this agreement exist diverse views about what it means to know, understand, and learn mathematics. This paper considers various research perspectives that can inform thinking about what mathematics should be like in U.S. public elementary schools. To this end, the paper examines recent National Council of Teachers of Mathematics recommendations for changes in the mathematics curriculum and three major research perspectives that may inform thinking about what it means to know, understand, and learn mathematics. The first of these perspectives is that of researchers, primarily cognitive psychologists, who focus on the individual knower of mathematics. The second perspective is that of the discipline of mathematics, what it means to understand mathematics from within the discipline. The third perspective is that of "classroom practice," in particular the ways in which researchers studying the teaching and learning of mathematics in classrooms have conceptualized mathematical knowledge and learning. Goals for mathematics learning are discussed. A list of 108 references is included. (Author/YP)
Descriptors: Cognitive Psychology, Educational Objectives, Elementary Education, Elementary School Mathematics, Literature Reviews, Mathematics Curriculum, Mathematics Education, Mathematics Instruction, Problem Solving
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($9.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.