for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Wes Maciejewski ,  Bill Barton - Vol. 36 Num. 3 (2016)
 Mathematical foresight: thinking in the future to work in the present


Originating from interviews with mathematics colleagues, written accounts of mathematicians engaging with mathematics, and Wes's reflections on his own mathematical work, we describe a process that we call mathematical foresight: the imagining of a resolution to a mathematical situation and a path to that resolution. In a sense, mathematical foresight is the process of imagining a not-yet-experienced mathematical event—the solution to a problem solving scenario, or the creation of a mathematical model for a biological system, for examples that could occur in the future. This future thinking process guides the mathematician's present mathematical activity, motivates them, and bolsters persistence.