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Emeritus Directeur de Recherch Gérard Vergnaud [Lecturer International Summer School, France]

Directeur de Recherche émérite au CNRS

Docteur Honoris Causa de l’université de Genève et de l’université du centre de l’état de Buenos Aires

  • I was born in Doué la Fontaine, a small town in the western part of France, not far from the Loire valley, a quiet and peaceful area.
  • I graduated at HEC "Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales" but my intellectual taste moved to psychology and I passed a doctorate under the supervision of Jean Piaget, who was then professor in Paris and in Genova at the same time.
  • In 1962, CNRS appointed me as a full time researcher. After a few years I worked  more and more on maths education, and finally, I became coordinator of a group of French mathematicians and psychologists interested in the learning and the teaching of mathematics, (and physics).
  • Short term and long term processes are both important; therefore our research task would consist of studying the work of students (and teachers) during a short period of time at the same level of schooling, or else evaluating the development of the students’ competences over several years of schooling. We would then study either a limited class of situations, or else a variety of situations and concepts. This is the main reason for considering "conceptual fields" and not individual concepts alone.  The same for situations: we would study a variety of situations.
  • Observation is essential; but it is also essential to interpret theoretically the observed facts and processes. Didactics makes epistemology crucial, together with the operational form of knowledge. Whatever important the predicative form of knowledge may be (consider the monumental number of concepts, theorems and texts), one must also take care that mathematics is first an activity, a useful and operational activity. Putting mathematics, on stage, with relevant situations, requires a sound understanding of the relationship between the operational and the predicative forms of mathematics.
  • Additive structures, multiplicative structures, elementary algebra can be taught with the help of situations.



In the Web


Gérard Vergnaud’s career is also distinguished by his terrific entrepreneurial spirit: he is the initiator of numerous movements and gatherings of researchers on the international scene. We shall only quote the following here: The International Group for the Psychology of Mathematical Education – PME – of which he is a co-founder (ICME3, 1976) and of which he was president from 1977 and 1982, or from 1977, the Séminaire National de Didactique des Mathématiques (French National Mathematics Didactics Seminar) in Paris, then from 1980, l’Ecole d’Eté de Didactique des Mathématiques (Mathematics Didactics Summer School) as well as the Recherches en Didactique des Mathématiques – RDM – journal. His influence is great in the French-speaking sphere (he is for example Dr Honoris causa of the University of Geneva), but he also maintains numerous collaborations both in the west, in North and South America, and in the east (he is for example a member of the Russian Academy of Psychological Sciences).





Code Course Title Start Date Finish date
Sci&Edu 10. Abstract on: Didactic of Mathematics [Emeritus DR Vergnaud, France] 12. Oct 2017 12. Jun 2015