n Learning and Teaching Mathematics - What is your philosophy of mathematics?

Volume 2016, Issue 20
  • ISSN : 1990-6811


The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) describes Mathematics as:

...a language that makes use of symbols and notations for describing numerical, geometric and graphical relationships. It is a human activity that involves observing, representing and investigating patterns and qualitative relationships in physical and social phenomena and between mathematical objects themselves. It helps to develop mental processes that enhance logical and critical thinking, accuracy and problem solving that will contribute in decision-making. (Department of Basic Education, 2011, p. 8)

The above description is multi-faceted, incorporating notions of Mathematics as a language of symbols; a human activity involving processes such as investigation and generalisation; a means of describing the physical and social world in which we find ourselves; a deductive system of abstraction; and a means of improving broader decision-making processes. The above description incorporates ideas from a variety of different philosophies of mathematics. However, as a teacher, what is your own philosophy of mathematics?

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