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ERIC Number: EJ878326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0732-3123
Linguistic Indexicality in Algebra Discussions
Staats, Susan; Batteen, Chris
Journal of Mathematical Behavior, v29 n1 p41-56 Mar 2010
In discussion-oriented classrooms, students create mathematical ideas through conversations that reflect growing collective knowledge. Linguistic forms known as indexicals assist in the analysis of this collective, negotiated understanding. Indexical words and phrases create meaning through reference to the physical, verbal and ideational context. While some indexicals such as pronouns and demonstratives (e.g. "this", "that") are fairly well-known in mathematics education research, other structures play significant roles in math discussions as well. We describe students' use of entailing and presupposing indexicality, verbs of motion, and poetic structures to express and negotiate mathematical ideas and classroom norms including pedagogical responsibility, conjecturing, evaluating and expressing reified mathematical knowledge. The multiple forms and functions of indexical language help describe the dynamic and emergent nature of mathematical classroom discussions. Because interactive learning depends on linguistically established connections among ideas, indexical language may prove to be a communicative resource that makes collaborative mathematical learning possible. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A