In the absence of Meaning⋯

Patrick Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

75 Scopus citations


There are many diagnoses of the bad state of U.S. mathematics education, ranging from incoherent curricula to low-quality teaching. In this chapter I will address a foundational reason for the many manifestations of failure - a systemic, cultural inattention to mathematical meaning and coherence. The result is teachers' inability to teach for understanding and students' inability to develop personal mathematical meanings that support interest, curiosity, and future learning. In developing this argument I discuss the subtle ways in which actual meanings with which teachers currently teach and actual meanings students currently develop in interaction with instruction contribute to dysfunctional mathematics education. I end by proposing a long-term strategy to address this situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVital Directions for Mathematics Education Research
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9781461469773
ISBN (Print)1461469767, 9781461469766
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'In the absence of Meaning⋯'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this