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Grade 6 teachers’ objectification of the algebra discourse
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5981-3722
Nationellt Centrum för Matematikutbildning, NCM, Göteborgs Universitet.
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the 43rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education / [ed] Graven, M., Venkat, H., Essien, A. & Vale, P, Pretoria, South Africa: PME , 2019, Vol. 4, p. 51-51Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In tackling the well-known challenges of learning algebra, Sfard (2008) highlights the need for objectification of mathematical discourse. Teachers can support students in this objectification by modelling the discourse they want students to develop (Sfard, 2016). Our study uses Sfard’s (2008) definition of objectification in order to analyse grade 6 teachers’ algebra discourse. The purpose is to understand if and how objectification occurs in the discourse when algebra is introduced, and how this might influence students’ understanding of algebra. Data consist of video recordings from three Swedish teachers’ introductory lessons in algebra with 12-year old students, with four consecutive introductory algebra lessons for each teacher. The recordings are from a larger international video study. Teachers’ discourse about algebraic entities was analysed concerning word-use, visual mediators, routines, and endorsed narratives (Sfard, 2008). Preliminary results show that there were mainly three algebraic entities that were in focus in the lessons, described as equations, expressions and variables. Generally, we note that as more formal algebraic symbols were introduced and used by two of the teachers, the more objectified became their discourse. This objectification did not occur in the third teacher’s discourse, which lacked an early introduction of formal symbols. This could imply that symbols reinforce objectification. Particularly, the progression of the objectification process concerning expressions was very prominent over the course of one teacher’s four lessons. The word use clearly changed from treating the introduced symbols as processes, where an expression was “to describe something with the help of a variable”; to objects, where an expression was “a system of symbols” that “could be used in an equation”. A more comprehensive discussion of the results, including routines and endorsed narratives, will be included in our presentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pretoria, South Africa: PME , 2019. Vol. 4, p. 51-51
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-36817ISBN: 978-0-6398215-6-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-36817DiVA, id: diva2:1341802
Conference
The 43rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Pretoria, South Africa, July 7-12, 2019.
Available from: 2019-08-12 Created: 2019-08-12 Last updated: 2019-08-13Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Helena

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CiteExportLink to record
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