In this paper, we analyze and compare two didactical designs for introducing primary school pupils to proportional reasoning in the context of plane polygons. One of them is well-documented in the literature; the other one is based on our own data and is accordingly presented and discussed in more detail in this paper. The two designs come from different cultural and intellectual environments: lesson study in Japan (implicitly based on the “open approach method”) and “didactical engineering” in France (based on the theory of didactical situations). The general aim of our paper is to compare these two environments and their approaches to didactical design, basing our discussion on the concrete designs mentioned above. Clear differences among them are presented, while we also identify links which hold potential for integrating research and practice.
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