Paul Drijvers

Paul Drijvers, Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University and HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Embodied instrumentation: combining different views on using digital technology in mathematics education

In recent decades, the potential of digital technology for mathematics education has been widely investigated. Still, much remains unknown about how to use tools to foster mathematics learning. To address this issue, I first consider the didactical functionalities of digital technology in mathematics education, and the overall modest effects of using these tools for learning. Next, I look at possible explanations of these findings and address three relevant views in more detail: (1) a Realistic Mathematics Education view on tool use, (2) instrumental approaches to tool use, and (3) embodied and extended views on cognition. As a conclusion, I claim that all three lenses share a focus on mathematical meaning. I argue in favour of a promising integrative approach to tool use, called embodied instrumentation, which includes a careful alignment of embodied and instrumental experiences that may reinforce each other in powerful learning activities.