Mathematics education

  • Christiane HAUCHART

Christiane Hauchart coordinates the activities of the Groupe d’Enseignement Mathématique (Mathematics Education Group, GEM), which is a team teachers of mathematics at all levels (basic, secondary and higher education).

The main objective of the work is to
- identify and analyze obstacles in learning and teaching of mathematics,
- produce documents for classrooms, which take account of these obstacles and which aim at highlighting the meaning of the concepts and the theories that are taught.

The research is part of a heuristic and constructivist perspective inspired by the work of I. Lakatos, H. Freudenthal, G. Pólya and M. Kline. These authors emphasize the importance of heuristics in the learning of mathematics. Lakatos shows that mathematical activity is a “dialectic proof and refutation”:

Our research and teaching projects aim to respect this dynamics specific to mathematical activity, starting from the most familiar settings to build up theory while pointing its instrumentality, responding better thus to the many reactions of learners that reveal an lack of meaning for them of the mathematics that they are learning.T

The study of the history of a mathematical concept or theory is often part of our research, not so much as an end in itself, but for what it reveals about the role and the why of the theory.

The GEM Group works with other teams, mainly