Communicating mathematics through images: A multimodal study of Year One students’ meaning-making when working with mathematics textbooks
Keywords:meaning-making, design, affordance, images, mathematics textbooks
This article focuses on how Swedish Year One students (age 7–8) make meaning when working with images in mathematics textbooks. Images include textbook images, but also students’ self-drawn images used as support for calculation. The focus was (1) what the images in the exercises were designed to offer (the designed affordance), and (2) what the students discovered when working with them. The data material consisted of video transcripts of 18 students working with subtraction exercises from mathematics textbooks. The results showed that the students sometimes discovered the designed affordance and sometimes did not. The students who discovered the designed affordance sometimes used the image when performing the calculations, while others did not. Some students expressed that images in mathematics textbooks are for those who find mathematics difficult, and that completing exercises without using the images was desired. The students’ approaches to images were discussed in two specific cases: First, the students’ desire to use mathematical symbols rather than images may lead to students not discovering the mathematics content that the exercise is designed to offer. Second, the use of mathematical symbols rather than images may lead to students not discovering themselves as mathematical individuals.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Malin Norberg
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