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Applying a new framework of connections between mathematical symbols and natural language
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för naturvetenskapernas och matematikens didaktik. Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Umeå forskningscentrum för matematikdidaktik (UFM).ORCID-id: 0000-0003-4777-7629
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för naturvetenskapernas och matematikens didaktik. Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Umeå forskningscentrum för matematikdidaktik (UFM).ORCID-id: 0000-0002-4727-8064
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för naturvetenskapernas och matematikens didaktik. Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Umeå forskningscentrum för matematikdidaktik (UFM).ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2531-5992
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för naturvetenskapernas och matematikens didaktik. Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Umeå forskningscentrum för matematikdidaktik (UFM).
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2023 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of Mathematical Behavior, ISSN 0732-3123, E-ISSN 1873-8028, Vol. 72, artikel-id 101097Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

A reader of mathematical text must often switch between reading mathematical symbols and reading words. In this study, five different categories of structural connections between symbols and language, which invite such switches, are presented in a framework. The framework was applied in a study of Swedish mathematics textbooks, where 180 randomly selected pages from different educational stages were analyzed. The results showed a significant change in communication patterns as students progress through school. From a predomination of connections based on proximity found in year two, there is a gradual change to a predomination of symbols interwoven in sentences in year eight. Furthermore, more qualitative investigations of the different connections complemented the quantification, both through further explanations of the quantitative results, and through more examples of differences in communication patterns. The implications for readers of mathematics texts are discussed.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Elsevier, 2023. Vol. 72, artikel-id 101097
Nyckelord [en]
Inter-semiotic connections, Mathematical communication, Mathematical notation, Multimodal communication, Semiotic resources, Spatial connections
Nationell ämneskategori
Didaktik Annan matematik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-214590DOI: 10.1016/j.jmathb.2023.101097Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85170711454OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-214590DiVA, id: diva2:1800882
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet, 2017-03577Tillgänglig från: 2023-09-28 Skapad: 2023-09-28 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-07-02Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Between symbols and words: structural connections in mathematics texts and their effect on reading
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Between symbols and words: structural connections in mathematics texts and their effect on reading
2024 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Alternativ titel[sv]
Mellan symboler och ord : om strukturella kopplingar i matematiktexter och hur dessa kan påverka läsningen
Abstract [en]

While students progress through their school years, they are expected to develop reading skills in all academic subjects, including mathematics. Mathematics texts, being multisemiotic, require readers to make meaning not only from written language but also from mathematical symbols and visualizations. Integrating content presented through different sign systems is essential for creating coherence. Thus, the organizational structure of these texts becomes critically important when designing texts for learning. The purpose of this thesis is to build knowledge of the organization of mathematical symbols and written language, and to achieve better understanding of how this organization influences the reading of mathematics texts. 

First, the structural connections between mathematical symbols and written language in mathematics texts designed for students are characterized. Five distinct categories of such connections—Interwoven, Chunked, Marked, Adjoined, and Referenced—are identified, ranging from connections in which mathematical symbols are integrated into sentences (Interwoven), to those based solely on the proximity between two text sequences (Adjoined). The prevalence of these connection categories in textbooks from different school levels is also investigated. The results indicate a progression in the use of structural connections, with a shift from reliance on proximity in early school years towards a preference for symbols interwoven in sentences between years 2 and 5, suggesting that all students eventually need to navigate texts with interwoven symbols. Additionally, changes can be seen in how symbols are being connected to more detailed meanings. Second, the reading of mathematics texts employing two distinct text designs inspired by the new framework is compared: one design features only sentences with interwoven symbols, whereas the other uses a graphic to highlight key connections between symbols and words. The reading processes and experiences of students are investigated by analyzing gaze measurements and interviews. The results indicate that the two designs have different advantages depending on the situation. While the graphic design can facilitate reading and interpretation by drawing attention to the connections between symbols and words, enabling quicker content matching, the symbols interwoven in sentences might provide better access to details or allow more efficient reading in other contexts. Moreover, individual differences in processing and experiences were noted: while some readers benefitted from the graphic design, others did not. Yet, as reading becomes more complex, the graphic is increasingly appreciated. It is concluded that while readers generally prefer text designs that enhance readability, the optimal design varies based on the reader and the context. The discussion includes what text design benefits whom and under what circumstances. 

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Umeå: Umeå University, 2024. s. 117
Serie
Umeå Studies in the Educational Science, ISSN 2004-8890, E-ISSN 2004-8661 ; 68
Nyckelord
text organization, reading mathematics, multimodality, semiotic resources, text design, textbooks, diciplinary literacy, inter-semiotic connections, sign systems, matematikläroböcker, teckensystem, semiotiska resurser, multimodalitet, intersemiotiska kopplingar
Nationell ämneskategori
Didaktik Matematik
Forskningsämne
matematikdidaktik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-223461 (URN)9789180703796 (ISBN)9789180703802 (ISBN)
Disputation
2024-05-16, Hörsal NAT.D.320, Naturvetarhuset, Umeå, 09:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2024-04-25 Skapad: 2024-04-17 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-05-06Bibliografiskt granskad

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Wikström Hultdin, UlrikaBergqvist, EwaBergqvist, TomasVingsle, LottaÖsterholm, Magnus

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Wikström Hultdin, UlrikaBergqvist, EwaBergqvist, TomasVingsle, LottaÖsterholm, Magnus
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Institutionen för naturvetenskapernas och matematikens didaktikUmeå forskningscentrum för matematikdidaktik (UFM)
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Journal of Mathematical Behavior
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