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Record identifier : 569079
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Wilding-Martin, Erin Cecilia
Title and statement of responsibility : Paul Ernest's social constructivist philosophy of mathematics education [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary or Abstract : This dissertation analyzes the theoretical underpinnings and implications of Paul Ernest's social constructivist philosophy of mathematics education. Ernest sees learning as the social construction of knowledge through conversation. Therefore, he believes that mathematics education should foster knowledge construction through active engagement and student interaction. In addition, he claims that mathematics education should contribute to the development of democratic citizens who are able to critically evaluate political and social claims that are based on mathematical arguments. Ernest also makes recommendations for curricula and pedagogy, calling for a differentiated mathematics curriculum at the secondary level. While future mathematicians need to be prepared for advanced study in mathematics, he believes that mathematics education for other students should provide inquiry-based activities that encourage critical thinking, empower learners, and encourage students to be aware of and involved in social issues. This dual approach to mathematics education raises questions about Ernest's underlying ideas on the nature of mathematical knowledge and the nature of democratic values.The main focus of this project is to critically analyze Ernest's philosophy of mathematics education and his conceptions of mathematical knowledge and democratic education. Specifically, I use textual analysis to interpret what he intends for each group of students and to critically analyze the conceptions of mathematical knowledge and democratic citizenship implicit in each set of recommendations. I examine whether these conceptions are consistent with each other and with his philosophy of mathematics education. I argue that while Ernest's general conceptions of mathematical knowledge and democratic citizenship are similar for these two groups, he views mathematicians as producers of mathematical knowledge and the general public as users of this knowledge. This characterization seems to place research mathematicians in a privileged position. Finally, I explore the implications of Ernest's framework for developmental mathematics at the community college level. I discuss what his view would contribute to conversations about educational opportunity, and I use specific examples to illustrate how this framework might be used to evaluate policy and practice in this context..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Community college education
: Mathematics education
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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