Waikato Journal of Education

How to Cite

Sharma, S. (2019). Use of theories and models in geometry education research: A critical review. Waikato Journal of Education, 24(1), 43–54. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v24i1.644


The aim of this article is to provide a critical review of the theories and the model used in the field of geometry education research. The article critically discusses van Hiele’s theory, Fischbein’s theory of figural concepts, Duval’ s theory of figural apprehension, the Spatial Operational Capacity (SOC) model by Wessels and van Niekerk, and the Sfard’s commognition theory. The van Hiele’s theory proposed a sequential order of development through which the learners construct their understanding of geometry concepts. Fischbein’ s theory of figural concepts suggested that a geometric figure is always comprised of a visible representation and a concept. Duval’s theory of figural apprehension underscored the heuristic value of a geometry figure for solving geometry problems. The SOC model by Wessels and van Niekerk emphasised the importance of instructional design incorporating a variety of physical and mental objects to work with to develop geometry concepts. Finally, the article discusses Sfard’s commognition theory that emphasises the communicative function of language in developing geometry concepts. There are two major concerns highlighted with respect to these theories and the model. Firstly, these theories and model emphasise the development of the two-dimensional geometry concepts, neglecting the development of the concepts of three-dimensional geometry. Secondly, these theories and the model fail to acknowledge the multilingual context of geometry class. The article aims to highlight the dearth of studies that explore the multilingual context of geometry class and calls for future studies in this direction.



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