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ERIC Number: EJ1106686
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0228-0671
Instruments for Semiotic Mediation in Primary School Classrooms
Bussi, Maria G. Bartolini; Boni, Mara
For the Learning of Mathematics, v23 n2 p15-22 2003
Instruments have been used for centuries in mathematical experience and in the teaching tradition as well. One example is cultural instruments inherited from tradition (e.g., rulers, abaci, compasses, curve-drawing devices) that have followed or anticipated the theoretical development of mathematics. In this article, the authors analyze two cases of instruments (the compass and the abacus) which are very commonly found in primary school classes. They do so by inserting them in a Vygotskian framework which allows them to be more precise about the quality of social interactions (individual and group tasks; discussions orchestrated by the teacher), realized under teacher's guidance, used in order to foster the individual construction of mathematical meanings. The two examples concern two artifacts inherited from tradition and describe the shift from the "concrete" instrument to the "mental" one in primary school. The users are young pupils, chosen to emphasize the need of starting quite early to nurture a theoretical attitude toward mathematics.
FLM Publishing Association. 382 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A