Interpreting motion graphs

Luis Radford has written an article called “No! He starts walking backwards!”: interpreting motion graphs and the question of space, place and distance. The article was recently published online in ZDM. Here is the abstract of the article:

This article deals with the interpretation of motion Cartesian graphs by Grade 8 students. Drawing on a sociocultural theoretical framework, it pays attention to the discursive and semiotic process through which the students attempt to make sense of graphs. The students’ interpretative processes are investigated through the theoretical construct of knowledge objectification and the configuration of mathematical signs, gestures, and words they resort to in order to achieve higher levels of conceptualization. Fine-grained video and discourse analyses offer an overview of the manner in which the students’ interpretations evolve into more condensed versions through the effect of what is called in the article “semiotic contractions” and “iconic orchestrations.”

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