TY - JOUR

T1 - Explicating mathematical concept and mathematicalconception as theoretical constructs for mathematics education research

AU - Simon, Martin A.

N1 - Funding Information:
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1020154. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

PY - 2017/2/1

Y1 - 2017/2/1

N2 - Mathematical understanding continues to be one of the major goals of mathematics education. However, what is meant by “mathematical understanding” is underspecified. How can we operationalize the idea of mathematical understanding in research? In this article, I propose particular specifications of the terms mathematical concept and mathematical conception so that they may serve as useful constructs for mathematics education research. I discuss the theoretical basis of the constructs, and I examine the usefulness of these constructs in research and instruction, challenges involved in their use, and ideas derived from our experience using them in research projects. Finally, I provide several examples of articulated mathematical concepts.

AB - Mathematical understanding continues to be one of the major goals of mathematics education. However, what is meant by “mathematical understanding” is underspecified. How can we operationalize the idea of mathematical understanding in research? In this article, I propose particular specifications of the terms mathematical concept and mathematical conception so that they may serve as useful constructs for mathematics education research. I discuss the theoretical basis of the constructs, and I examine the usefulness of these constructs in research and instruction, challenges involved in their use, and ideas derived from our experience using them in research projects. Finally, I provide several examples of articulated mathematical concepts.

KW - Instructional goals

KW - Mathematical concept

KW - Mathematical conception

KW - Mathematical understanding

KW - Mathematics learning

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U2 - 10.1007/s10649-016-9728-1

DO - 10.1007/s10649-016-9728-1

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84987642330

SN - 0013-1954

VL - 94

SP - 117

EP - 137

JO - Educational Studies in Mathematics

JF - Educational Studies in Mathematics

IS - 2

ER -