Fall 2020 - EDUC 942 G001

Contemporary Theories and Methodologies in Mathematics Education (5)

Class Number: 2722

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 9:20 PM



Contemporary theories and methodologies in mathematics education will be examined and analysed. Developing an overview of mathematics education as an evolving research domain will be focal.


Theory: Contemporary theoretical frameworks will be introduced, discussed and critiqued. The focus will be on theories that describe and explain the processes of mathematical teaching and learning. A combination of original texts with contemporary applications of them will be used, with each student developing a particular area of expertise. 

Methodology: Contemporary methodologies will be introduced, discussed and critiqued, and related to the epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying the. 

Subject matter: A variety of mathematical topics and processes will be considered.


The goals of this course are to (1) development an understanding of the role that theory plays in conducting research in mathematics education; (2) develop expertise regarding the philosophical assumptions of one particular theory that is of significant use in mathematics education; (3) develop an awareness of the different theories that are used in mathematics education, as well as their methodological entailments.


  • Weekly reading and written/oral report on readings 30%
  • Research report: Students will undertake a small study, using one of the theoretical framings discussed in class. Students may gather their own data or re-analyse existing data. Reports will be presented to the class. 30%
  • Theory/Method primer: Students will develop expertise in a particular theoretical/methodological approach, consulting both original courses and applications thereof, and prepare a primer that can be shared with other graduate students in mathematics education 40%



Weekly readings will be provided by the instructor



Lave, J. and Wenger, E. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN-10: 0521423740 

ISBN: 0521423740 

Lakoff, G., & Núñez, R. E. (2000). Where mathematics comes from: How the embodied mind brings mathematics into being. New York: Basic Books. ISBN-10: 0465037712  

ISBN: 0465037712  

Sfard, A. (2008). Thinking as communicating: Human development, the growth of discourses and mathematizing. Cambridge University Press. ISBN-10: 0521867371. 

ISBN: 0521867371

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).