Att utveckla algebraiskt tänkande genom lärandeverksamhet : En undervisningsutvecklande studie i flerspråkiga klasser i grundskolans tidigaste årskurser
Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis is to develop and explore teaching possible to promote algebraic thinking together with young, multilingual students six to twelve years old. One underlying assumption for the aim is that algebraic thinking can be developed by students participating in learning activities that are characterized by collective mathematical reasoning on relations between quantities of positive whole and rational numbers. Two overall research questions support this work: (1) What in students work indicate algebraic thinking identified in learning activities and as experiences of algebraic thinking? (2) How can learning models manifest in learning activity, in what ways do learning models change and enhance, and which characteristics of learning actions are enabled? Data was produced by interviews and from research lessons with students in lower grades in a multilingual Swedish school. The research lessons were focused on learning activity as suggested by Davydov (1990, 2008/1986), aimed at developing theoretical thinking – here algebraic thinking. They were staged in two research projects conducted as networks of learning studies. In these learning studies, the group of teachers iteratively designed and revised learning activities whereby the students could identify mathematical knowledge and collectively solve mathematical problems. The findings in the articles signal that learning models were developed as rudimentary, preliminary, prototypical and finally symbolic. Rudimentary models were grounded in algebraic thinking when the students analysed problem situations and identified the problem. Preliminary and prototypical models were developed by initiating and formalising actions understood as algebraic thinking. Different tools were initiated by the students and the teachers. These tools were formalised by the students. The students used algebraic symbols and line-segments to think together when comparing different quantities (Article 2). They carried out operations using unknown quantities when reflecting on additive and multiplicative relationships (Article 3). The students also used algebraic symbols to reflect on subtraction as non-commutative (Article 3). The different tools they used interacted on different levels of generalisation (Article 1). Algebraic thinking grounded the students reflections but interacted with, for example, fractional thinking in their arguments during the development of their learning models (Article 4). The different ways of thinking interacted in arguments when developing the rudimentary, the preliminary and the prototypical models. However, in the conclusion of their collective reasoning and in the development of the symbolic learning models, these different ways of thinking were intertwined in the same arguments (Article 4).As a conclusion, the four articles signal that learning models including algebraic symbols developed in a learning activity can be used by newly-arrived immigrant students to reflect on structures of numbers.
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