Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 317–330

The Nctm Standards and the Philosophy of Mathematics

  • Charalampos Toumasis

DOI: 10.1023/A:1004909220965

Cite this article as:
Toumasis, C. Studies in Philosophy and Education (1997) 16: 317. doi:10.1023/A:1004909220965


It is argued that the philosophical and epistemological beliefs about the nature of mathematics have a significant influence on the way mathematics is taught at school. In this paper, the philosophy of mathematics of the NCTM's Standards is investigated by examining is explicit assumptions regarding the teaching and learning of school mathematics. The main conceptual tool used for this purpose is the model of two dichotomous philosophies of mathematics-absolutist versus- fallibilist and their relation to mathematics pedagogy. The main conclusion is that a fallibilist view of mathematics is assumed in the Standards and that most of its pedagogical assumptions and approaches are based on this philosophy.

Absolutist philosophy of mathematicsmathematics learningmathematics teachingfallibilist philosophy of mathematics

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charalampos Toumasis
    • 1
  1. 1.PatrasGreece