Volume 6 · Number 2 · Pages 239–247
Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Contribution and Legacy to a Didactique des Mathématiques Research Community

Nadine Bednarz & Jérôme Proulx

Log in download the full text in PDF

> Citation > Similar > References > Add Comment


Context: During the 1980s, Ernst von Glasersfeld’s reflections nourished various studies conducted by a community of mathematics education researchers at CIRADE, Quebec, Canada. Problem: What are his influence on and contributions to the center’s rich climate of development? We discuss the fecundity of von Glasersfeld’s ideas for the CIRADE researchers’ community, specifically in didactique des mathématiques. Furthermore, we take a prospective view and address some challenges that new, post-CIRADE mathematics education researchers are confronted with that are related to interpretations of and reactions to constructivism by the surrounding community. Results: Von Glasersfeld’s contribution still continues today, with a new generation of researchers in mathematics education that have inherited views and ideas related to constructivism. For the post-CIRADE research community, the concepts and epistemology that von Glasersfeld put forward still need to be developed further, in particular concepts such as subjectivity, viability, the circular interpretative effect, representations, the nature of knowing, errors, and reality. Implications: Radical constructivism’s offspring resides within the concepts and epistemology put forth, and that continue to be put forth, through a large number of new and different generations of theories, thereby perpetuating von Glasersfeld’s legacy.

Key words: radical constructivism, mathematics education, viability, reification, representation


Bednarz N. & Proulx J. (2011) Ernst von Glasersfeld’s contribution and legacy to a didactique des mathématiques research community. Constructivist Foundations 6(2): 239–247. http://constructivist.info/6/2/239

Export article citation data: Plain Text · BibTex · EndNote · Reference Manager (RIS)

Similar articles

Ulrich C., Tillema E. S., Hackenberg A. J. & Norton A. (2014) Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education
Müller K. H. (2011) The Two Epistemologies of Ernst von Glasersfeld
Cifarelli V. V. & Sevim V. (2014) Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis
Saalmann G. (2007) Arguments Opposing the Radicalism of Radical Constructivism
Müller K. H. (2010) The Radical Constructivist Movement and Its Network Formations


Bachelard G. (1938) La formation de l’esprit scientifique. Vrin, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Battista M. T. (1999) The mathematical miseducation of America’s youth. Phi Delta Kappan 80(6): 424–433. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Bednarz N. & Dufour-Janvier B. (1984) La numération : les difficultés suscitées par son apprentissage. Grand N 33: 5–31. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Bednarz N. & Garnier C. (eds.) (1989) Construction des savoirs: Obstacles et conflits. Agence d’Arc, Montreal. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Bednarz N. (1991) Interactions sociales et construction d’un système d’écriture des nombres en classe primaire. In: Garnier C., Bednarz N. & Ulanovskaya I. (eds.) Après Vygotski et Piaget. Perspectives sociale et constructiviste. Écoles russe et occidentale. Éditions De Boeck, Brussels: 51–67. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Bednarz N. (2001) A problem-solving approach to algebra: Accounting for reasonings and notations developed by students. In: Chick H., Stacey K. & Vincent J. (eds.) Proceedings of ICMI Study-12. The future of the Teaching and Learning of Algebra. Volume 1. University of Melbourne: 69–78. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Bednarz N. (2004) Collaborative research and professional development of teachers in mathematics. In: Niss M. & Emberg E. (eds.) Proceedings of the international conference on mathematics education. CD-ROM. ICME-10, Copenhagen. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Bednarz N., Dufour-Janvier B., Poirier L. & Bacon L. (1993) Socio-constructivist viewpoint on the use of symbolism in mathematics education. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research 49(1): 41–58. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Bélanger M. (1990–1991) Les erreurs en arithmétique: Un siècle de présomption américaine. Petit x 26: 49–71. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Clements D. H. (1997) (Mis?)constructing constructivism. Teaching Children Mathematics 4: 198–200. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Desgagnés S., Bednarz N., Couture C., Poirier L. & Lebuis P. (2001) L’approche collaborative de recherche en éducation: Un rapport nouveau à établir entre recherche et formation. Revue des sciences de l’éducation 27(1): 33–64. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Fischbein E. (1990) Book review. Educational Studies in Mathematics 21(5): 479–486. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Glasersfeld E. von (1987) Learning as a constructive activity. In: Janvier C. (ed.) Problems of representation in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale NJ: 3–17. Originally published in 1983. http://www.vonglasersfeld.com/083
Glasersfeld E. von (1987) Preliminaries to any theory of representation. In: Janvier C. (ed.) Problems of representation in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale NJ: 215–225. http://www.vonglasersfeld.com/105
Glasersfeld E. von (1989) Commentaire subjectif par un observateur. In: Bednarz N. & Garnier C. (eds.), Construction des saviors: Obstacles et conflits. Agence d’Arc, Montreal: 367–371. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Glasersfeld E. von (1994) Pourquoi le constructivisme doit-il être radical? Revue des sciences de l’éducation 20(1): 21–27. http://www.vonglasersfeld.com/165. English translation: Glasersfeld E. von (1998) Why constructivism must be radical? In: Larochelle M., Bednarz N. & Garrison J. (eds.) Constructivism in educalion. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK: 23–28.
Janvier C. (1978) The interpretation of complex Cartesian graphs representing situations: Studies and teaching experiment. Ph.D dissertation. Shell Centre for Mathematical Education, Nottingham. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Janvier C. (1998) Constructivism and its consequences for training teachers. In: Steffe L. P., Nesher P., Cobb P., Goldin G. A. & Greer B. (eds.) Theories of mathematical learning. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah NJ: 449–463. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Janvier C. (ed.) (1987) Problems of representation in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale NJ. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Janvier C., Baril M. & Mary C. (1998) Contextualized reasoning of electrical technicians. Les Cahiers du CIRADE 1: 155–169. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Janvier C., Charbonneau L. & René de Cotret S. (1989) Obstacles épistémologiques à la notion de variable: Perspectives historiques. In: Bednarz N. & Garnier C. (eds.) Construction des savoirs: Obstacles et conflits. Agence d’Arc, Montreal: 64–75. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Jonnaert P. & Masciotra D. (2004) Constructivisme. Choix contemporains. Hommage à Ernst Von Glasersfeld. Presses de l’Université du Québec, Montreal. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Larochelle M. & Bednarz N. (1998) Constructivism and education: Beyond the epistemological correctness. In: Larochelle M., Bednarz N. & Garrison J. (eds.) Constructivism and Education. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 3–20. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Larochelle M. & Desautels J. (1991) “Of course, it’s just obvious!” Adolescents’ ideas of scientific knowledge. International Journal of Science Education 14: 373–89. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Larochelle M., Bednarz N. & Garrison J. (eds.) (1998) Constructivism and Education. Cambridge University Press. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Lemoyne G. & Lessard G. (2003) Les rencontres singulières entre les élèves présentant des difficultés d’apprentissage en mathématiques et leurs enseignants. Éducation et francophonie 31(2) http://www.acelf.ca/c/revue/index.php
Maturana H. R. (1988) Reality: The quest for objectivity or the quest for a compelling argument. The Irish Journal of Psychology 9(1): 25–82. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Pallascio R., Lafortune L. & Daniel M. F. (2000) Une approche philosophique pour l’apprentissage des mathématiques. Apprentissage et socialisation 20(2): 25–46. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Pépin Y. (1994) Savoirs pratiques et savoirs scolaires: Une representation constructiviste de l’éducation. Revue des sciences de l’éducation 20(1): 63–85. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Proulx J. (2010) Is constructivism victim of its success in mathematics education. For the Learning of Mathematics 30(3): 24–25. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Salin M. H. & Brousseau G. (1980) Qu’est-ce qui est caché dans la boîte? VHS Tape, black and white, 44 mins. IREM, Bordeaux France. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Traoré, K. & Bednarz N. (2009) Mathématiques de la vie quotidienne au Burkina Faso: Une analyse de la pratique sociale de comptage et de vente de mangues. Educational Studies in Mathematics 72(3): 359–378. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Traoré, K. & Bednarz N. (2010) Une étude ethnomathématique au Burkina Faso: L’arithmétique au quotidien. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education 10(4): 1–14. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Varela F. J. (1984) The creative circle: Sketches on the natural history of circularity. In: Watzlawick P. (ed.) The invented reality: How do we know what we believe we know? Contributions to constructivism. Norton, New York: 309–323. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar

Comments: 0

To stay informed about comments to this publication and post comments yourself, please log in first.