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Discussion group 5:

The role of philosophy in mathematics education

Room A104 and A105


What is the significance of philosophy of mathematics education? To what extent are the authorities of mathematics education implicitly or explicitly influenced by ‘recognisable’ philosophies of mathematics education? What are the relations between philosophy of mathematics education and other kinds of philosophies, such as educational philosophy, philosophy of mathematics, social philosophy, etc.? In what ways do different philosophies of mathematics education influence its theory and practice? Do researchers and practitioners of mathematics education need to adhere to a philosophy of mathematics education? Does the choice of a philosophy of mathematics education modify the results or influence their work?


Organizing team composition

Aims and focus

Call for contributions: Please send your contribution no later than January 20th!


Papers and discussion documents

Team chairs:
Guillermo Zambrana (Mexico)
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Departamento de Matemáticas. Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad 3000 Circuito Exterior S/N, C.P. 04510 Ciudad Universitaria.

Caroline Bardini (France)
Universite Montpellier II, France
Departement de Mathematiques, Universite Montpellier II, cc 051 Bat 9, Place Eugene Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05 - FRANCE>

Team members:
Anna Sfard (Israel)
University of Haifa
Education The University of Haifa Haifa 31906 ISRAEL

Filippo Spagnolo (Italy)
Università di Palermo
G.R.I.M. (Gruppo Ricerca Insegnamento Matematica), Dipartimento di Matematica ed Applicazioni, Via Archirafi n.34 - 90123 Palermo (Italia)

Carlos Vianna (Brazil)

Aims and focus
In process, please consult later.

Call for contributions: Please send your contribution no later than January 20th!

How to participate

As their name suggests, Discussion Groups (DGs) are designed to gather congress participants who are interested in discussing, in a genuinely interactive way, certain challenging or controversial issues and dilemmas – of a substantial, non-rhetorical nature – pertaining to the theme of the DG.

Discussion Groups are expressly not about the presentation of research papers and therefore there are no oral presentations in a DG.

However, as starting points for discussions the OT is calling for written contributions (see the call for papers for more information) that bring forward issues, problems, and challenges addressing one or more of the questions listed in the introduction.

After having been accepted, these contributions will be posted on the web page of DG11 and will be referred to during the discussions at ICME11.

Organisers welcome submissions of contributions related to questions and issues addressed in DG5 (see introduction). The questions might concern primary issues such as : What is philosophy of mathematics education? (Philosophy applied to or of mathematics education? Philosophy of mathematics applied to mathematics education or to education in general? Philosophy of education applied to mathematics education?…). What are the relations between philosophy of mathematics education and other kinds of philosophies? They can also refer to the link between philosophies of mathematics and mathematical practices or the relations between personal philosophies of mathematics, values and classroom image of mathematics. Multicultural aspects of these issues are welcome. Some other questions, less general than the aforementioned can be addressed, related to a specific mathematical topic (eg. the bond between epistemology and learning and teaching of algebra). Finally, the authors can contribute by providing examples of teaching experiences in which the link between mathematics and philosophy is at the core.

The written contribution should be in English, in no more than 6 pages (A4) in length using 14-point font, single spaced, with 2 cm margins, and should be submitted electronically to both DG5 co-chairs ( and Files should be saved in RTF-format (Rich Text Format) and filenames should indicate the name of the first author proceeded by “DG5”; e.g. for a contribution by Dufus and Smith, the file should be named: DG5_dufus.rtf ( _ is an underscore not a space).

Please use the template designed to help you in the writing of your contribution (you can download the template below) so to ensure a consistent appearance for all papers in the congress.

All proposals will be reviewed by members of the organising group.


20th January 2008 : Deadline for submitting your written contribution

1st March 2008: Information about acceptance sent to the authors

10th April 2008 : The OT will prepare and publish an organising framework for the operation of the DG based on the extended contributions received. At this stage it is envisaged that we will spend the first 2 sessions in small groups after a brief introduction to the key issues by members of the OT. For the final session (1 hour only) the OT is considering the possibility of a more formal report back session to share general observations and possibly produce a short communiqué.

Papers and discussion documents

ICME 11 - DG5 - Template (48.00 KB)

THE ROLE OF PHILOSOPHY IN MATHEMATICS EDUCATION, Paolo Longoni, Gianstefano Riva, Ernesto Rottoli (30.00 KB)

Mathematics Education: Pastoral Bildung - Or Anti-Pastoral Enlightenment, Allan Tarp (109.00 KB)

Interactions between Philosophy and Didactic of Mathematics. The case of logic, language and reasoning, Viviane DURAND-GUERRIE (191.00 KB)

Report not yet available

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