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This issue contains the texts of some of the lectures given at the Summerschool of Mathematics Didactics (la didactique des mathematiques ) in Plestin-les-Grèves, France, between 1989 and 1991. Therefore, these texts provide only an approach to the French school of Mathematics Didactics.
We give hereunder the names of the various publishing lecturers.
• Guy Brousseau tries to give a background to teaching, in order to imagine how a teacher is concemed with Didactic research, and how the IREMs may help him. However his contribution to this paper is not representative of his whole work, which, as everybody knows, has opened the way to most of the research in Didactics in France.
• Gilbert Arsac, in a research team on Mathematics, Physics and Biology Didactics, worked upon Yves Chevallard’s Didactic Transposition theory. His contribution introduces the research of this team.
• Michèle Artigue’s contribution to this paper is the synthesis of a collective reflexion within the DIDIREM team on Didactic Engineering as the term is known and implemenred in France in particular by Régine Douady in her works : an instrument of research.
• Didactic Engineering is a method of research most developed in France. But it is by no means the only one practiced in this country. The contributions of Aline Robert and Régis Gras prove it.
• Yves Chevallard’s lecture answer a question from researchers and tries to give a wide frame and a background to Mathematics Didactics as a field of research.
The purpose of this special issue is to point out how, from Guy Brousseau’s contribution to that of Yves Chevallard, one can measure the widening span of the spectrum of Mathematics Didactics, in France, today.
Aline Robert, Régis Gras