Döva barns begreppsbildning i matematik
Sammanfattning: The question why deaf children have difficulties in learning mathematics is the basis of this study. The aim of the study is to illuminate deaf children’s concept formation in mathematics by describing how some deaf children express themselves and act on their way towards understanding two basic concepts, the concept of multiplication with whole numbers and the concept of length. Theories developed by Feuerstein are used in order to describe how deaf children develop concepts, and to investigate possibilities to help deaf children develop their cognitive potential in a more effective and adequate way. Concept maps illustrate steps and pathways taken by the pupils. The importance of language in concept formation, with focus on sign language is illuminated. The children in this study were pupils in a School for the Deaf, a bilingual school with the languages Swedish Sign Language and Swedish. Seven 11-year-old pupils, all the pupils in one group in grade 4, were studied. Video recordings were made of pupil-teacher interactions in problem solving situations in sign language only, with paper and pencil, with learning materials and with real things. A large variety in the pupils´ ability to solve the problems was found depending on different factors identified by Feuerstein e.g. self-confidence, looking for meaning, search of challenge, intention to finish the work and use of known facts. No difference was found concerning the steps towards comprehension of the concepts for the deaf pupils in the study compared to those of hearing pupils. In accordance with earlier studies it was found that the deaf pupils needed more time to learn mathematics than hearing pupils normally do. As a consequence they may learn certain concepts at a later age and the pathways towards comprehension may vary compared to those of hearing pupils. The structure of sign language and the lack of an established terminology in mathematics are also of importance. The bilingual situation for deaf pupils is a reason for developing methods of teaching mathematics to deaf pupils alternative to methods used today.
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