for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Patricia Morgan ,  Dor Abrahamson - Vol. 36 Num. 3 (2016)
 Cultivating the ineffable: the role of contemplative practice in enactivist learning


We consider designs for conceptual learning where students first engage in pre-symbolic problem solving and then articulate their solutions formally. An enduring problem in these designs has been to support students in accessing their pre-conceptual situated process, so that they can reflect on it and couch it in mathematical form. Contemplative practices may offer practical solutions to this epistemic bottleneck by orienting students not on their explicit thoughts but on nuanced somatic sensations within pre-conceptual liminal space. We support this proposal for contemplative mathematics reflecting through process approaches on Mason and Roth's work in this area, and a report on two pilot studies.