Proceedings of the International Groups for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. 2017
In this debate, in arguing for the position that ‘Research should not inform teaching.’ we present three lines of reasoning. First, we observe that despite many years of research, research has had very little impact on teaching and begin our argument by presenting scientific evidence and other sound reasons as to why this is so. Hence given the fact that research does not inform teaching we should, as a community, now accept that research clearly should not inform teaching. Our second argument rests in the observation if research is to influence teaching then it must be accessible to teachers and that the current publishing practices militate against this. Finally, much research is now funded by policy-initiated programmes, with research agendas being tacitly steered towards policy directives. Thus rather than researchers being free to follow interesting lines of thought and design independent research studies that identify and address the crucial questions regarding teaching and learning, funding research ends up conforming to policy-formed questions that are rooted in current knowledge. This results in maintenance of the status quo in teaching rather than radically changing it.