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ERIC Number: EJ1004154
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Mathematics Education and the Objectivist Programme in HPS
Glas, Eduard
Science & Education, v22 n6 p1315-1321 Jun 2013
Using history of mathematics for studying concepts, methods, problems and other internal features of the discipline may give rise to a certain tension between descriptive adequacy and educational demands. Other than historians, educators are concerned with mathematics as a "normatively defined" discipline. Teaching cannot but be based on a pre-understanding of what mathematics "is" or, in other words, on a normative (methodological, philosophical) view of the identity or nature of the discipline. Educators are primarily concerned with developments at the level of "objective" mathematical knowledge, that is: with the relations between successive theories, problems and proposed solutions--relations which are independent of whatever has been the role of personal or collective beliefs, convictions, traditions and other historical circumstances. Though not exactly "historical" in the usual sense, I contend that this "objectivist" approach does represent one among other entirely legitimate and valuable approaches to the historical development of mathematics. Its retrospective importance to current practitioners and students is illustrated by a reconstruction of the development of Eudoxus's theory of proportionality in response to the problem of irrationality, and the way in which Dedekind some two millennia later almost literally used this ancient theory for the rigorous introduction of irrational numbers and hence of the real number continuum.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A