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Traces of Mathematical Facts and Students’ Understanding of the Concept `Quadrilateral´: An enquiry into young students’ communication.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Unga elevers kommunikation i diskursen geometri (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Mathematics could be described as a special kind of language, a discourse in which participants communicate abstract concepts. Communication and language are known to be important factors in teaching and learning but little is known about neither communication between students in relation to geometrical concepts, nor what traces of mathematical facts and understanding is incorporated into their communication. Such knowledge would contribute to teachers´ understanding of students’ knowledge of this aspect of mathematical thinking. The purpose of this study is to investigate young students’ communication in the Discourse of geometry. To accomplish this, Swedish students aged between ten and eleven were video-recorded while working with two assignments, one involving describing quadrilaterals to each other and the other sorting quadrilaterals. An analysis of the students’ communication has identified a number of issues that teachers could benefit from being aware of in their teaching of the concept of `geometrical figure´. Examples of issues identified being that conceptual characteristic remain too much in the background of what in the study has been called the visual shape. For example, a long and narrow shape of a geometrical figure seems to draw students’ attention. Students also seem to be having difficulty in understanding that naming a figure is a way of merging the figures´ definitions into one word, and there were problems with words that anchor in daily life.

Abstract [sv]

Matematik kan beskrivas som en speciell typ av språk, en diskurs i vilken deltagarna producerar berättelser för att kommunicera abstrakta begrepp. Kommunikation och språk är viktiga faktorer i lärande och undervisning men lite är känt om hur berättelser skapade av elever i relation till geometriska begrepp bidrar till deras kunskap om denna aspekt av matematiskt tänkande. Syftet med denna studie är att undersöka berättelser producerade av unga elever i diskursen geometri. För att genomföra detta videofilmades svenska elever i åldern 10 till 11 år under arbetet med två uppgifter, en där uppgiften var att beskriva fyrhörningar för varandra och en där uppgiften var att sortera fyrhörningar. En analys av de berättelser eleverna producerade identifierade ett antal problem som lärare behöver vara medvetna om och hantera i undervisningen av begreppet `geometrisk figur´. Exempel på identifierade problem är att konceptuella kännetecken alltför mycket hamnar i bakgrunden av vad som i studien kallats för "Den visuella formen", till exempel så verkar en lång och smal form dra till sig elevernas uppmärksamhet. Eleverna verkar också ha problem med att förstå att namnet på en geometrisk figur innebär att man fogat samman figurens konceptuella kännetecken i ett enda ord. Studien visar också på problem med användningen av vardagsord.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå tekniska universitet, 2015. , 147 p.
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
National Category
Mathematical Analysis Pedagogy
Research subject
Mathematics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-25817Local ID: b42cd8d7-0b3e-4c30-8b47-1c18c0e00294ISBN: 978-91-7583--458-0 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-459-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-25817DiVA: diva2:998974
Note
Godkänd; 2015; 20150915 (evju)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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