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ERIC Number: EJ847124
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6803
Using Metaphors to Unpack Student Beliefs about Mathematics
Schinck, Amelie G.; Neale, Henry W., Jr.; Pugalee, David K.; Cifarelli, Victor V.
School Science and Mathematics, v108 n7 p326-333 Nov 2008
This paper reports on an exploratory study of the mathematical beliefs of a group of ninth and tenth grade students at a large, college preparatory, private school in the Southeastern United States. These beliefs were revealed using contemporary metaphor theory. A thematic analysis of the students' metaphors for mathematics indicated that students had well developed and complex views about mathematics including math as: an Interconnected Structure, a Hierarchical Structure, a Journey of Discovery, an Uncertain Journey, and a Tool. Another prevalent theme revealed by the metaphors was that students believe perseverance is needed for success in mathematics. The data also suggest an impact of gender and tracking on students beliefs about mathematics. Creating metaphors for mathematics provided a catalyst for student reflection, class discussion, and qualitative data, which could aid program evaluation. Several areas for future research were identified through this exploratory study.
School Science and Mathematics Association. Oklahoma State University, 245 Willard, Stillwater, OK 74078. Tel: 405-744-8018; Fax: 405-744-6290; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A