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ERIC Number: EJ880223
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0737-0008
A Theory Bite on Infinity: A Companion to Falk
Sfard, Anna
Cognition and Instruction, v28 n2 p210-218 2010
There are infinitely many ways of talking about infinity. The assortment of discourses on learning infinity is infinite as well. When the author says "way of talking" or "discourse," she is concerned with much more than the question of how words are chosen and combined. Ways of talking are not just innocent "auxiliaries" to thinking--they shape the way people think and, thus, also the way people act. As such, the words they use and how they use them deserve their utmost attention. Above all, the ways they talk should never be taken for granted. Whereas generally important, this caveat is of particular significance when it comes to the special type of discourse known as research. It is, therefore, the author's professional credo that researchers should always work on two levels simultaneously. They should investigate phenomena and, in parallel, investigate the way they talk about them. By being explicit about how they use words and by considering alternatives, the researchers not only increase their chance for their being properly understood, but they also open themselves to insights that can only be gained by refining one's discursive tools. In this article, the author tries to add a "theory bite" in this companion to Ruma Falk's article (2010). More specifically, the author attempts to complete Falk's account with an explicit interpretation of Falk's keywords. She claims that the proposed interpretation of Falk's keywords entails a particular unit of analysis, which, in turn, raises some special requirements with respect to data collection and analysis. While listing these requirements, the author also says a few words about how they guided her own studies on children and infinity. (Contains 1 figure and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A