The need for theories of conceptual learning and teaching of mathematics

Martin A. Simon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


One of the important challenges in mathematics education is the development of pedagogical theory that can guide mathematics instruction, instructional design, teacher education, and research in each of these areas. In this chapter, I begin with a brief review of the current state of the field with respect to pedagogical theory. I then offer a vision of what might constitute needed pedagogical theory. Such theory would include useful ways of describing the mechanisms of mathematics conceptual learning and, derived from the characterization of these mechanisms, design and instructional principles for fostering mathematics conceptual learning. Using the research program I am involved in as an example, I describe some of the methodological challenges in producing an empirical basis for such theory development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVital Directions for Mathematics Education Research
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781461469773
ISBN (Print)1461469767, 9781461469766
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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