NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ887190
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1954
Mathematical Practices in a Technological Workplace: The Role of Tools
Triantafillou, Chrissavgi; Potari, Despina
Educational Studies in Mathematics, v74 n3 p275-294 Jul 2010
This paper investigates the role of tools in the formation of mathematical practices and the construction of mathematical meanings in the setting of a telecommunication organization through the actions undertaken by a group of technicians in their working activity. The theoretical and analytical framework is guided by the first-generation activity theory model and Leont'ev's work on the three-tiered explanation of activity. Having conducted a 1-year ethnographic research study, we identified, classified, and correlated the tools that mediated the technicians' activity, and we studied the mathematical meanings that emerged. A systemic network was generated, presenting the categories of tools such as mathematical (communicative, processes, and concepts) and non-mathematical (physical and written texts). This classification was grounded on data from three central actions of the technicians' activity, while the constant interrelation and association of these tools during the working process addressed the mathematical practices and supported the construction of mathematical meanings that this group developed from the researchers' perspective. Technicians' emerging mathematical meanings referred to place value, spatial, and algebraic relations and were expressed through personal algorithms and metaphorical and metonymic reasoning. Finally, the educational implications of the findings are discussed.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A