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ERIC Number: ED535946
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-8547-3921-9
Making Mathematics Phenomenal
Pratt, Dave
Institute of Education - London
Mathematics is often portrayed as an "abstract" cerebral subject, beyond the reach of many. In response, research with digital technology has led to innovative design in which mathematics can be experienced much like everyday phenomena. This lecture examines how careful design can "phenomenalise" mathematics and support not only engagement but also focus on key ideas. It argues that mathematical knowledge gained in this way prioritises the powerful reasons for doing mathematics, imbuing it with a sort of utility and offering learners hooks on which they can gradually develop fluency and connected understanding. Dave Pratt illustrates this lecture with examples taken from conventional topics such as number, algebra, geometry and statistics and from novel situations where mathematical methods are juxtaposed with social values. The suggestion that prioritising utility supports a more natural way of learning mathematics emerges directly from constructionist pedagogy and inferentialist philosophy.
Institute of Education - London. 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, UK. Tel: +44-20-7612-6000; Fax: +44-20-7612-6126; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of London, Institute of Education