Some sources of inspiration in Davydov’s approach in mathematics teaching and learning

1.4 Interventionist research approaches and their roots
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
30 minutes
It is always fascinating to read Davydov’s works on teaching and learning mathematics, especially his ideas about the early introduction of abstract concepts in algebra and measurement. While the psychological origins of his pedagogical ideas are well documented in western literature, we should also pay attention to other sources, namely those coming from the fields of mathematics, didactics, and philosophy. In my presentation, I outline the richness of interactions with mathematical and didactical schools of thought in Russia and in Europe, which brought new ideas of introducing arithmetic and algebra into the elementary curriculum. From the philosophical perspective, a close investigation of the relationship between Davydov and Schedrovitsky’s Moscow Methodological Circle and Kharkov’s school of methodology is an interesting task to be carried out. More specifically, in his texts published in the 1960s that laid the foundation of his approach, Davydov cites works by Galanin and Bronstein, Russian Methodists in mathematics teaching from the beginning of the 20th century. Also, the works of mathematicians Lebesgue, Khinchin, and Kolmogorov are often mentioned within the context of that day’s reform of mathematics education based on introducing modern ideas of set theory, logic, and calculus, along with algebraic structures. Finally, much of the philosophical ideas about teaching and developmental learning are the results of constant exchanges between Davydov and philosophers from Schedrovitsky’s Moscow Methodological Circle. One of them, Gromyko, made important contributions to the latter years of the development and implementation of Davydov’s approach. In-depth investigation of these sources is important for a better understanding of the uniqueness of Davydov’s insights about the role of reflective and theoretical thinking, and at the same time, the multidimensionality of his ideas and approaches. This multidimensionality resulted from Davydov’s ability to clearly formulate his view, which is well-grounded in history and epistemology, and, at the same time, his ability to confront his own view with the views of others in the form of debates, which not only helped Davydov shape his own vision but also share it with the community. This factor is also important in the context of implementing his approach in school practice, not only in Russia but in the educational systems of other countries as well. 
Université de Moncton

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