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Re-conceptualising conceptual understanding in mathematics

Kent, Geoff; Foster, Colin

Authors

Geoff Kent

Colin Foster



Abstract

In this theoretical paper we explore interrelationships between conceptual and procedural understanding of mathematics in the context of individuals and groups. We question the enterprise of attempting to assess learners’ mathematical understanding by inviting them to perform a (perhaps unfamiliar) procedure or offer an explanation. Would it be appropriate to describe a learner in possession of an algorithm for responding satisfactorily to such prompts as displaying conceptual understanding? We relate the discussion to Searle’s “Chinese Room” thought experiment and draw on Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action to develop potential implications for addressing the problem of interpreting learners’ mathematical understanding.

Citation

Kent, G., & Foster, C. (2015). Re-conceptualising conceptual understanding in mathematics

Conference Name Ninth Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education (CERME 9)
End Date Feb 8, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date Oct 26, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/30545
Related Public URLs http://www.cerme9.org
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf

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Kent and Foster, CERME, Re-conceptualising conceptual understanding in mathematics.pdf (379 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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