for the learning of mathematics

Dor Abrahamson - Vol. 32 Num. 1 (2012)
 Discovery reconceived: product before process


Motivated by the question, "What exactly about a mathematical concept should students discover, when they study it via discovery learning?", I present and demonstrate an interpretation of discovery pedagogy that attempts to address its criticism. My approach hinges on decoupling the solution process from its resultant product. Whereas theories of learning often focus on process as the site of discovery, I propose to focus instead on product. Specifically, I view student discovery of mathematical concepts as their guided heuristic–semiotic aligning of the product of analysis process with informal inference from naively seeing situations. I support my thesis with two vignettes.


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