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What is ‘first philosophy’ in mathematics education? (English)
Philos. Math. Educ. J. 27, 14 p., electronic only (2013).
Summary: An important theme to emerge in the 21st century is that of determining the foundations of mathematics education. What theoretical bases underpin research and practice in mathematics education? For most of the late 20th century the theoretical underpinnings of mathematics education were mathematics and psychology. But in the past two decades other disciplines have grown in importance, including philosophy. The question of which is the ‘first philosophy’ has been central in history of philosophy since Aristotle. But which branch of philosophy is the most fundamental for mathematics education? In this paper I consider the claims of five branches of philosophy: Critical Theory, Philosophy of mathematics, Epistemology, Ontology and Ethics. After exploring the contributions of these branches to our field I propose that ethics plays the role of first philosophy for mathematics education. Because of our social nature ethics precedes any theorizing or conscious reflection about any human activities including the teaching and learning of mathematics, and so it is our ‘first philosophy’.
Classification: D20 C60 A40
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