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The math wars
 Educational Policy
, 2004
"... During the 1990s, the teaching of mathematics became the subject of heated controversies known as the math wars. The immediate origins of the conflicts can be traced to the “reform ” stimulated by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathemat ..."
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During the 1990s, the teaching of mathematics became the subject of heated controversies known as the math wars. The immediate origins of the conflicts can be traced to the “reform ” stimulated by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. Traditionalists fear that reformoriented, “standardsbased ” curricula are superficial and undermine classical mathematical values; reformers claim that such curricula reflect a deeper, richer view of mathematics than the traditional curriculum. An historical perspective reveals that the underlying issues being contested—Is mathematics for the elite or for the masses? Are there tensions between “excellence ” and “equity”? Should mathematics be seen as a democratizing force or as a vehicle for maintaining the status quo?—are more than a century old. This article describes the context and history, provides details on the current state, and offers suggestions regarding ways to findaproductive middle ground.
WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION?
"... This question (what is the philosophy of mathematics education?) provokes a number of reactions, even before one tries to answer it. Is it a philosophy of mathematics education, or is it the philosophy of mathematics education? Use of the preposition ‘a ’ suggests that what is being offered is one o ..."
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This question (what is the philosophy of mathematics education?) provokes a number of reactions, even before one tries to answer it. Is it a philosophy of mathematics education, or is it the philosophy of mathematics education? Use of the preposition ‘a ’ suggests that what is being offered is one of several such perspectives, practices or areas of study. Use of the definite article ‘the ’ suggests to some the arrogation of definitiveness to the account given. 1 In other words, it is the dominant or otherwise unique account of philosophy of mathematics education. However, an alternative reading is that ‘the ’ refers to a definite area of enquiry, a specific domain, within which one account is offered. So the philosophy of mathematics education need not be a dominant interpretation so much as an area of study, an area of investigation, and hence something with this title can be an exploratory assay into this area. This is what I intend here. Moving beyond the first word, there is the more substantive question of the reference of the term ‘philosophy of mathematics education’. There is a narrow sense that can be applied in interpreting the words ‘philosophy ’ and ‘mathematics education’. The philosophy of some area or activity can be understood as its aims or rationale. Mathematics education understood
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"... government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their judgement in professional and technical matters. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent ..."
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government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their judgement in professional and technical matters. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent