Monday seminars will normally be arranged on Mondays at 13.15 in BU-031. If it is arranged at another place or at another time that will be specified.
19 October (Digital at zoom)
CULTURAL TRANSPOSITION: how to exploit ideas / results from one culture to another in mathematics education.
By Professor Maria Giuseppina Bartolini, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
CULTURAL TRANSPOSITION is a recent field of research in mathematics education developed by a group of Italian researchers (Mellone, Ramploud, et al., including me). The main idea is to study the needed changes that must be introduced in a study when the context is changed. At the beginning we faced this issue comparing some Chinese study with the possible “adaptation” to our culture. We met for instance variation pedagogy in the Chinese traditional education. We had also the possibility to observe in situ Chinese classrooms and to acknowledge that many processes could not be adapted to Italian classroom. WE were forced to deepen this issue and by many studies we tried to specify where the differences came from. Other scholars expanded our early findings to other pairs of cultures. In my seminar I shall summarize the state of art of this field at the moment.
Bartolini, Maria Giuseppina; Bertolini, Chiara; Ramploud, Alessandro; Xuhua, Sun (2017). Cultural transposition of Chinese lesson study to Italy: An exploratory study on fractions in a fourth-grade classroom", International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies
Mellone, M., Ramploud, Carotenuto G. (2020) An experience of cultural transposition of the El’konin-Davydov curriculum.. DOI:10.1007/s10649-02-09942-7. In EDUCATIONAL STUDIES IN MATHEMATICS - ISSN:1573-0816 vol. 103 (Issue 2, February 2020)
26 October (Digital at zoom)
From using artefacts to mathematical meanings: the teacher’s role in the semiotic mediation process
By Maria Alessandra Mariotti – Università di Siena- Italy
The potential of artifacts for learning have been extensively studied, with a main focus on their possible use by students and the subsequent benefits for them. However, there has been the tendency to underestimate the complexity of exploiting this potential, and specifically the complexity of the teacher’s role orchestrating the teaching and learning process. Following Vygotsky’s seminal idea of semiotic mediation, the theoretical framework of Theory of Semiotic Mediation (TSM) has been developed (Bartolini Bussi and Mariotti, 2008) with the aim of providing a teaching and learning model, where attention is focussed on on the semiotic processes releted to the use of cultural artefacts.
Taking a semiotic mediation perspective means to acknowledge the central role of signs in teaching-learning activity: specifically, the production of signs and their transformation. We postulate that the teacher can exploit the semiotic potential of an artefact to make students develop genuine mathematical meanings. The evolution of meanings, described through the analysis of signs produced in classroom activities, corresponds to the move from personal meanings, rooted in the context of the artefact, to conscious mathematical meanings. Such an evolution is a long term process that, according to our assumption, is neither spontaneous nor granted, and for this reason needs a delicate, carefully designed, intervention of the teacher.
Through the semiotic lens it is possible to analyse the classroom discourse and highlight specific patterns in the teacher’s action that make students’ personal meanings evolve towards the mathematical meanings that are the objective of the didactic intervention.
In my talk, I will discuss a first model of the teacher’s action and I will provide some examples drawn from long term teaching experiments carried out at different school levels.