Everyday Mathematics has contributed in important ways to long-standing debates about mathematical concepts, symbolic representation, and the role of contexts in thinking—the latter topic reaching back at least as far as Kant’s notion of scheme. The descriptive work plays a role, of course. But it is only by making sense of the observations that science moves forward. If over time the expression Everyday Mathematics drops from usage, I would be neither surprised nor disappointed. Eventually the field needs to become absorbed into the mainstream traditions of research in mathematics education. However it would be disappointing if it is remembered only for its descriptive and proscriptive aspects, without recognizing the contributions to research, theory, and the cultural context of learning and thinking.
David W. Carraher has written an article that was recently published (online first) in Educational Studies in Mathematics. The article is entitled: Beyond ‘blaming the victim’ and ‘standing in awe of noble savages’: a response to “Revisiting Lave’s ‘cognition in practice’”. Here is the abstract: