Thomas Thomas Hausberger, Frédéric Patras


The aim of the present article is to
investigate the meaning of the didactic contract
from the point of view of a key philosophical
concept, originated in Husserl’s phenomenology,
namely the notion of horizon. We feature in
particular the notion of horizon of expectation, as
developed by H. R. Jauss and the Constance
School. The core of the article is to explicit the
ideas that result from the confrontation of the
principles governing the notion of didactic
contract with the idea of horizon of expectation.
This theoretical perspective is illustrated with two
case studies: the dialog between two graduate
students who are working on a mathematical
problem that has been elaborated with the
methodology of didactic engineering and an oral
communication between professional
mathematicians in the context of a research
seminar in mathematics. We conclude by
reflexive comments about the nature of
interactions between the fields of philosophy and
mathematics education and lastly comment on
the fertility of networking approaches from
didactics of mathematics and hermeneutics.
Namely, we underline that hermeneutics and
phenomenology may be applied in the context of
mathematics education but also, conversely, that
didactical contexts and theoretical constructs may
enrich philosophical accounts.

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