Applied Psychology: an International Review vol:53 issue:2 pages:279-310
The domain of mathematics learning and teaching is one of the most representative examples of the subject-matter orientation in research on learning and instruction. During the last quarter of the past century this field of inquiry has produced a vast body of investigations, resulting in an enriched conception of mathematics learning as involving the (social) construction of meaning and understanding based on modeling of reality. In this article some of the main trends and perspectives in the field of research on mathematics learning and instruction are discussed, and illustrated with examples of empirical research, mainly carried out in Europe and the United States. It will be shown that, on the one hand, the available empirical investigations have already yielded substantial building blocks for the elaboration of a theory of mathematics learning from instruction, but that, on the other hand, major issues and problems need to be unravelled by continued inquiry. This will be documented in an exemplary way, using as a frame of reference four main components of a theory of learning mathematics from instruction: a theory of expertise, aiming at analysing competence in a domain; a theory of acquisition, attempting to understand and explain the processes of learning that are conducive to the attainment of competence; a theory of intervention, focusing on the design of powerful teaching–learning environments for eliciting those acquisition processes; and a theory of assessment, addressing the development of methods and techniques for the construction and application of assessment tools and instruments.
Departement Pedagogische wetenschappen. Afdeling Didactiek. Centrum voor Instructiepsychologie en -technologie. Leuvens Instituut voor onderwijsonderzoek (LIVO)