Two movements, "situated learning" and "constructivism", have been gaining influence on thinking about education and educational research.
In our view, some of the central educational recommendations of these movements have questionable psychological foundations.
We wish to compare these recommendations with current empirical knowledge about effective and ineffective ways to facilitate learning in mathematics and to reach some conclusions about what are the effective ways.
A number of the claims that have been advanced as insights from cognitive psychology are at best highly controversial and at worst directly contradict known research findings.
As a consequence, some of the prescriptions for educational reform based on these claims are bound to lead to inferior educational outcomes and to block alternative methods for improvement that are superior.
John R. Anderson, Lynne M. Reder, and Herbert A. Simon, 'Applications and misapplications of cognitive psychology to mathematics education',
Texas Educational Review 6 (2000)