Review of A cultural-historical perspective on mathematics teaching and learning.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review


Reviews the book, A Cultural-Historical Perspective on Mathematics Teaching and Learning by Wolff-Michael Roth and Luis Radford (2011). In their concise book, authors explore these ideas from cultural-historical activity theory and show how they play out in a mathematical classroom. It also gives attention to the place of emotions in activity theory and in the analysis of processes of mathematical learning; the authors, in fact, view the relationship between emotions and thinking as a major theme of the book. Authors make their point in a trenchant way by telling us that utterances in an activity are not taken-as-shared but, in some way, actually shared speakers and listeners understand one another because their utterances are part of a common activity in a common cultural-historical framework rather than because they possess inner worlds that simply correspond with one another, like Leibniz’s windowless monads. This is so if only because a historical perspective must emphasize activity’s being in motion and always changing, its diachronic aspect; however, the cultural view suggests a synchronic structure of practices and ideas. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish GB
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationMathematical Thinking and Learning
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Activity Theory
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Education
  • History
  • Teaching


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