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The purpose of this paper is twofold: On the one hand, this work frames a variety of considerations on cognitive processes underlying mathematical concept construction in two research strands, namely an actions-first strand and an objects-first strand, that mainly shapes past and current approaches on abstraction in learning mathematics. This classification provides the identification of an often overlooked fundamental cognitive process, namely structural abstraction. On the other hand, this work shows a theory-driven and research-based approach illuminating the hidden architecture of cognitive processes involved in structural abstraction that gives new insights into an integrated framework on abstraction in learning mathematics. Based on our findings in empirical investigations, the paper outlines a theoretical framework on the cognitive processes taking place on mental (rather than physical) objects.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Open Access Conference Paper

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Open Access