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What’s there in an n? Investigating contextual resources in small group discussions concerning an algebraic expression.

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Elisabeth Rystedt
Cecilia Kilhamn
Ola Helenius
Publicerad i Nordisk matematikkdidaktikk - Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education
Volym 21
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 5-26
ISSN 1104-2176
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för didaktik och pedagogisk profession
Nationellt Centrum för matematikutbildning, NCM
Sidor 5-26
Språk en
Ämnesord mathematics, algebra, variable, context, group discussion
Ämneskategorier

Sammanfattning

This small-case study combines a content related and a dialogical approach, in an in-depth analysis of how three 12-year-old pupils in a video recorded small group discussion construe the meaning of the letter n in an algebraic expression. The nd- ings indicate that the pupils used a rich variety of contextual resources in their sense- making attempt. They also tried out a wide range of interpretations of the letter indi- cating that their conception of an algebraic letter was rich but unstable and that the dialogue was instrumental in helping them move from primitive to more advanced interpretations. In addition to previously known di culties of understanding letters as variables, we found that the meaning of the communicative convention ”expressed in n” proved an obstacle, and conclude that learning mathematics is as much about learning a speci c communicative genre as learning about mathematical objects and relationships.

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