Introduction: Why different ways of talking about learning and mathematics?
Great many stories of mathematics learning have been told, and they may sometimes be seen as competing with each other. While each one of us may favor one of these stories and call it “the best”, there is no single version that can count as the story of mathematics learning – as the one that is superior to all the rest in some absolute way.
The version to be presented in this unit is called commognitive. Explaining this approach will require engaging with the fundamental questions of what is learning, what is mathematics, and what we mean when we put these two words together and speak about learning mathematics. All this will be done in the modules that follow. This brief introductory talk evolves around the preliminary query: Why should we spend our time trying to define things as basic and obvious as learning or mathematics? In response, it is claimed that the way we speak impacts the way we act.
Sfard, A. (2008 ). Puzzling about (mathematical) thinking (Chapter 1). In Thinking as communicating: Human development, the growth of discourses, and mathematizing (pp. 3 -33). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Ben-Yehuda, Linchevski, L., Lavy, I., & Sfard, A. (2015). Lifting the labels: A cautionary story about stories we tell about mathematics students. In E. Silver & P. A. Kenney (Eds.), More Lessons Learned from Research (pp. 135 - 146). Reston, VA: NCTM.