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Title: Five decades of mathematics education research
Authors: Inglis, Matthew
Foster, Colin
First Published: Jul-2018
Publisher: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Citation: Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 2018, 49(4), pp. 462-500
Abstract: Mathematics educators have been publishing their work in international research journals for nearly 5 decades. How has the field developed over this period? We analyzed the full text of all articles published in Educational Studies in Mathematics and the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education since their foundation. Using Lakatos’s (1978) notion of a research programme, we focus on the field’s changing theoretical orientations and pay particular attention to the relative prominence of the experimental psychology, constructivist, and sociocultural programmes. We quantitatively assess the extent of the “social turn,” observe that the field is currently experiencing a period of theoretical diversity, and identify and discuss the “experimental cliff,” a period during which experimental investigations migrated away from mathematics education journals.
DOI Link: 10.5951/jresematheduc.49.4.0462
ISSN: 0021-8251
eISSN: 1945-2306
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under a permanent embargo in accordance with the publisher's policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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