ERIC Number: ED425258
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
A Semiotic Analysis of Students' Own Cultural Mathematics.
Presmeg, Norma C.
An ongoing research project that investigates how mathematics educators can prepare prospective and practicing teachers to cope with cultural diversity is presented. The first component of this project is investigation of the ways that students can use their cultural identities and practices in constructing mathematical ideas that belong uniquely to them through a graduate course called "Ethnomathematics." The second is the investigation of ways teachers can facilitate students' construction of such uniquely personal cultural mathematics ideas in a high school classroom. The third component is the development of a grounded theoretical framework in which to situate the two previous components using semiosic chaining. The semiotic framework developed is being applied to the work from the graduate course and to the high school project, which took place in the 1995-96 school year. Data from the graduate project consisted of student journal entries, field notes, and more than 170 student project reports collected since 1993, some of which are described. The high school project involved seven students from differing ethnic backgrounds. Evidence from these students makes a strong case that traditional mathematics teaching does not facilitate a view of mathematics that encourages students to see the potential of mathematics outside the classroom. Although their own reports indicated that students were involved in many life activities with mathematical aspects, they continued to see mathematics as an isolated subject without much relevance to their lives. Semiosic processes may be used to illustrate connections as symbol systems are constructed in a bridge between cultures. Symbolism provides possible connections between mathematical ideas frozen in academic mathematics and practices, and different symbolism would facilitate the construction of different mathematics structures and concepts with increased relevance to students from different cultures. (Contains 33 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Asian Americans, Black Students, Cultural Awareness, Educational Theories, Ethnic Groups, Ethnomathematics, Experience, Graduate Study, High School Students, High Schools, Higher Education, Hispanic Americans, Mathematics Instruction, Models, Multicultural Education, Semiotics, Teaching Methods, Whites
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A