Pedagogy

Download The Pragmatics of Mathematics Education: Vagueness and by Tim Rowland PDF

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By Tim Rowland

Are scholars intimidated through the character of arithmetic educating? Many scholars look frightened of voicing their knowing - is worry of errors a part of the linguistics of arithmetic? The ways explored the following supply a intent and a mode for exploring and realizing audio system' reasons in school room arithmetic speak. Teacher-student interactions in arithmetic are analysed, and this gives a toolkit that lecturers can use to reply to the highbrow vulnerability in their scholars.

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Notes 1 In this book, I use variants of the word ‘pragmatic’ in two different, but related, technical senses, as follows. Pragmatism (or Pragmaticism) is the name of a philosophical position due to the American polymath Charles Sanders Peirce (1839– 1914). It is intended to be a ‘practical’ (as opposed to ‘theoretical’) kind of philosophy, which embeds rational discourse in life and conduct. The name ‘pragmatism’ derives from the Kantian term pragmatisch, expressing relation to some human purpose.

I should point out that this is not a theological statement, quite the contrary. Whilst human beings are capable of ‘insight’, any ultimate meaning of things is bound to be a mystery to finite intelligences. In other words, I do subscribe to St Paul’s belief that ‘we see through a glass, darkly’ (1 Corinthians 13:12). This is not quite the same as saying that there is no such thing as ontological reality, but for practical purposes my interpretivist position is entirely consistent with a constructivist view of knowledge, as presented in the next chapter.

This THE PRAGMATICS OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION 33 is a conjecture, a provisional generalization. Suppose, however, that I see an inhabitant of the island whom my informant calls a ‘Barrato’, and he is obese. I am not likely to suppose that all Barratos are obese. Why the difference? As John Stuart Mill put it, Why is a single instance, in some cases, sufficient for a complete induction, while in others myriads of concurring instances, without a single exception known or presumed, go such a very little way towards establishing a universal proposition?

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