Fall 2018 - EDUC 846 G001

Foundations of Mathematics Education (5)

Class Number: 1943

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 4:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5050, Burnaby



An examination of historical, cultural, and psychological forces shaping the secondary school mathematics curriculum. Current developments in mathematics curriculum and in mathematics education research.


Foundations of mathematics education extend into the dawn of history, and it is there we will begin to explore how this exceptional and profound way of thinking came to be, and why it is important in defining who we are as human beings in relation to the world in which, and from which, we have emerged.   From prehistory to the Babylonians, Egyptians, and ancient Greeks, we launch into the foundations of mathematics education from their clear origins in Plato’s teaching, and his Academy’s lasting and contemporary influence. Plato provides a powerful framework for understanding the foundations of mathematics education, and current developments in mathematics education research.   Hence, core readings shall consist of selections from Plato’s Republic, wherein mathematical sciences (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and harmonics) form the foundations of Plato’s curriculum. Enduring through the Middle Ages to modern times, these four mathematical disciplines comprised the quadrivium, which, coupled with the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric), constitute the so-called seven liberal arts. The foundations of mathematics education originate in this tradition.   Assigned writings will consist of discussion points, individual papers and collaborative student projects. Students will negotiate with the instructor on paper and project topics that will advance them in their interests and toward degree completion in some way.


  • Active participation compulsary%
  • Discussion points 30%
  • Group project 30%
  • Term paper 40%


Readings: Selections from Plato (~388-378 B.C.E./1945). The Republic of Plato, with commentary and translated by F. M. Cornford. London: Oxford University Press.   In addition to selections from Plato’s Republic, students will be assigned to read a few additional articles of relevance to this course, taking into account students’ interests.

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://students.sfu.ca/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