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In this theoretical paper, the authors provide an overview of mathematics education as a research domain, identifying and briefly discussing four transitions or historical moments in mathematics education research. Using the Instructional Triangle as a point of reference for the dynamics of mathematics instruction, they illustrate how mathematics education researchers working in different moments explore different questions and use different theoretical perspectives. The authors then provide brief summaries of critical theory and postmodern theory, and suggest critical postmodern theory (CPT) as a hybrid theory that offers new possibilities for conceptualizing and conducting mathematics education research.


This article was originally published in the Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and is posted here with the permission of the author.