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Submission guidelines

NOTE: All submissions must be made online at

Pythagoras publishes original papers that contribute significantly to our understanding of mathematics teaching, learning and curriculum, including reports of research (experiments, case studies, surveys, philosophical and historical studies, ...), critical analyses of school mathematics curricular and teacher development initiatives, literature reviews, theoretical analyses, exposition of mathematical thinking and commentaries on issues pertaining to the teaching and learning of mathematics in South Africa and elsewhere. Pythagoras is devoted to the improvement of the teaching and learning of mathematics at all levels of education. Pythagoras therefore serves as an academic and professional forum for the presentation and critical discussion of current research and development in the teaching and learning of mathematics at national and international level.


Contribution of research papers within the range of 3500-8000 words are invited in all areas and all levels of mathematics education.

Authors should indicate that (1) the research is their own original work, and (2) the manuscript, or similar work, was not simultaneously submitted for review to any other journal, or previously accepted for publication or published elsewhere, including congress Proceedings. A paper published in congress Proceedings will only be considered if it is a substantial extension and revision of the previous paper.

All papers are rigorously refereed.


The Pythagoras house style uses British English, not American English, therefore 'colour' and not 'color', 'generalise' and not 'generalize', et cettera. The house style uses single quotation marks, and quotations are not italicised. We use the point for decimal notation, not a comma. We use three levels of headings, but do not number headings. References to illustrations or tables in the text should be by number, e.g. 'see Figure 3', and not to position, e.g. 'see the following table'.

The Pythagoras house style uses the American Psychological Association (APA) convention for citations and referencing. Citations in the text are indicated as, e.g. Brownell (1956) or (Brownell, 1956, pp. 13-25). A complete list of the references, and not a bibliography, is supplied in alphabetical order. We list below a few selected examples of the format for references:


Article in an academic journal

Graham, R., & Yao, F. (1990). A whirlwind tour of computational geometry. American Mathematical Monthly, 97(8), 687-701.

Barbe, J., Bosch M., Espinoza, L., & Gascon, J. (2005). Didactic restrictions on the teacher's practice: The case of limits of functions in Spanish high schools. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 59, 235-268.


Article in an electronic journal, with no DOI (Digital Object Identifier) available

Selinger, M., & Pratt, D. (1997). Mediation of mathematical meaning through the graphic calculator. Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, 6(1), 37-50. Available from


Article in an electronic journal, with DOI available

Williams, J. B. (2006). Assertion-reason multiple-choice testing as a tool for deep learning: A qualitative analysis. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 31(3), 287-301.


Full text article from an electronic database (e.g. EbscoHost, ERIC)

Quinlan, C. (2004). Sparking interest in trigonometry. Australian Mathematics Teacher, 60(3), 17-20. Available from EdResearchOnline database.



Davis, P.J., & Hersh, R. (1981). The mathematical experience. Harmondsworth: Penguin.


Chapter in a book

Clarke, D. (1996). Assessment. In A. J. Bishop, K. Clements, C. Keitel, J. Kilpatrick, & C. Laborde (Eds.), International handbook on mathematics education (pp. 327-370). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publisher.

Vinner, S. (1991). The role of definitions in the teaching and learning of mathematics. In D. Tall (Ed.), Advanced mathematical thinking (pp. 65-81). Dordrecht: Kluwer.


Conference Proceedings

Ball, D. L., Bass, H., & Hill, H. (2004). Knowing and using mathematical knowledge in teaching: Learning what matters. In A. Buffler, & R. Lausch (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (pp. 51-56). Durban: SAARMSTE.


Unpublished material (e.g. thesis, paper)

Setati, M. (2002). Language practices in intermediate multilingual mathematics classrooms. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Long, C. (2008, January). Ratio, proportion and percent: Using the Rasch model to establish focus points. Paper presented at the Third International Rasch Conference. University of Western Australia, Perth.


Government publication

Department of Education. (1986). National Education Policy Amendment Act 103. Pretoria: Government Printer.


Newspaper article

Mahomed, H. (2001, October 28). Curriculum creates positive individualism. Sunday Independent, p. 7.


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