NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ907529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0228-0671
Not Understanding Andy: A Metaphorical Analysis of Students' Resistance to Learning
Wood, Marcy B.
For the Learning of Mathematics, v30 n3 p17-22 2010
Metaphors are a fundamental mechanism we use to make sense of our world. They structure our interpretations of and interactions with ideas, including mathematical ideas. Thus, the sense students make out of mathematical ideas depends upon the metaphor they use to structure their thinking. This paper examines the metaphors used in one fourth-grade classroom as students engage with ideas about fractions. Most of the students in the classroom used "fraction as container" and "fraction as piece metaphors," while one student, Andy, used a conceptual blend of two metaphors: "fraction as piece" and "fraction as number." Because Andy's use of metaphors did not match that of his classmates, his talk and reasoning about fractions were not well understood by most of the other students. This finding suggests that metaphorical analysis may be a productive tool for making sense of differences in communication and understanding across various constituents of mathematics classrooms.
FLM Publishing Association. 382 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A