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En bekant kontext: En kartläggning och jämförelse av ämnesspråk i Sveriges mest använda matematikbok samt i de nationella proven för elever i årskurs 6.
Södertörn University, Teacher Education.
2017 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
A Familiar Context : A survey and comparison of mathematical language in the most widely-used mathematics textbook and in the standardized national tests for grade 6 students in Sweden. (English)
Abstract [en]

A Familiar Context - a survey and comparison of mathematical language in the most widely-used mathematics textbook and in the standardized national tests for grade 6 students in Sweden.

Studies have shown that language has a crucial role when students learn mathematics but there is a lack of empirical surveys mapping how mathematical language is used in different practices. One aspect of mathematical language called personification, which is associated with something that generates personal interest or contributes with a familiar context, seems to affect low-performing students in a negative way in their problem solving in the subjects of algebra and geometry.

The overall aim of this study is to perform an empirical survey and analysis over how the personification of the mathematical language is used in the most commonly used mathematics textbook and the standardized national tests for students in grade 6 in Sweden. To answer this purpose, two research questions have been formulated:

To what extent are natural language, mathematical imagery and mathematical symbols personalized in the field of algebra and geometry?

How do typical mathematical tasks differ in the subjects of algebra and geometry?

Method: Selected mathematical tasks from the most commonly used mathematics textbook and the national tests were analyzed in regards to personification. These selected tasks were also analyzed in regards to the concepts, metonymy and metaphor which can be used to distinguish the core of natural language in mathematical tasks.

Results: There are differences between the uses of personification in the subjects of algebra and geometry. Personification was also found to be more common in the national tests than in the mathematics textbook. A comparison between the typical tasks from each subject area in the mathematics textbook and the national tests also showed that metaphorical form, a concept like personification associated with familiar context, is used more in the national tests than in the mathematics book.

Conclusions: A clear difference in the use of personification and metaphorical form between textbooks and standardized national tests in mathematics for year 6 students was identified. Such differences in language usage may impair mathematics knowledge assessment. It is therefore important to make authors aware of how language use can affect a student's problem solving ability and raises the question as to whether personification and metaphorical form should be included in testing mathematical knowledge?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
Personification, social semiotics, abstraction, metaphor
Keyword [sv]
Personifiering, socialsemiotik, abstraktion, metafor
National Category
Learning Mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-32796OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-32796DiVA: diva2:1109223
Subject / course
Education
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-15 Created: 2017-06-13 Last updated: 2017-06-15Bibliographically approved

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File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1104 kBChecksum SHA-512
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf