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Untangling Teachers' Diverse Aspirations for Student Learning: A Crossdisciplinary Strategy for Relating Psychological Theory to Pedagogical Practice

David Kirshner 

January 2002, Volume 33, Issue 1, Page 46

The Learning Principle propounded in Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000) rehearses the familiar distinction between facts/procedures and understanding as a central guiding principle of teaching reform. This rhetorical stance has polarized mathematics educators in the "math wars," (Becker & Jacob, 1998), while creating the discursive space for mathematics teaching reform to be reified into a unitary "reform vision" (Lindquist, Ferrini-Mundy, & Kilpatrick, 1997--a vision that teachers can all too easily come to see themselves as implementing rather than authoring. Crossdisciplinarity is a strategy for highlighting the  discrete notions of learning that psychology thus far has succeeded in coherently articulating. This strategy positions teachers to consult their own values, interests, and strengths in defining their own teaching priorities, at the same time marshaling accessible, theory-based guidance toward realization of its diverse possibilities.

Research Studies
Calculus and Higher Level Mathematics
Conceptual Development
Grades 6-8
Grades 9-12
Math Coordinator / Coach
Skill and Fluency
Professional Development / Teacher Education
Reasoning and Proof