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Dienes' Theory

Dienes' theory relates specifically to teaching and learning of mathematics rather than teaching and learning in general. It consists of four principles:

1. Dynamic principle: Preliminary, structured activities using concrete materials should be provided to give necessary experiences from which mathematical concepts can be built eventually. Later on, mental activities can be used in the same way.

2. Constructivity Principle: In structuring activities, construction of concepts should always proceed analysis.

3. Mathematical Variability Principle: Concepts involving variables should be learnt by experiences involving the largest possible number of variables.

4. Perceptual Variability or Multiple Embodiment Principle: In order to allow as much scope as possible for individual variations in concept-formation and to induce children to gather the mathematical essence of an abstraction, the same conceptual structure should be presented in the form of as many perceptual equivalents as possible.

(Adapted from Dienes, Z.P, 1971 Building up Mathematics,4th ed.)