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ERIC Number: ED501059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: Author
Strong and Weak Metaphors for Limits
Oehrtman, Michael C. F.
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Paper presented at the 27th International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education Conference Held Jointly with the 25th PME-NA Conference (Honolulu, HI, Jul 13-18, 2003), v3 p397-404
The metaphorical nature of first-year calculus students' reasoning about limit concepts is explored using an instrumentalist approach. Analysis of written and verbal language reveals that, while these students used motion terminology profusely when discussing limits, it was typically not intended to signify actual motion and did not play a significant role in their reasoning about limiting situations. In contrast, many of these students employed other non-standard metaphors, involving for example collapsing dimensions, to explore these situations and to build their emerging understanding of limit concepts. [For complete proceedings, see ED500858.]
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. 35 Aandwind Street, Kirstenhof, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa. Tel: +27-21-715-3559; Fax: +27-88-021-715-3559; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A