Middle school students' interpretation of graphing tasks: Difficulties within a graphical language

Tom Lowrie, Carmel Diezmann

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

The representation and interpretation of images and graphics are essential for a numerate populace in an information-burgeoning society. Research on the use and understanding of graphics is quite limited despite the increasing importance of “new” literacies within mathematics education. This paper reports on students’ [aged 10 and 11] proficiency with line and bar graphs [Opposed-position graphics] in an interview situation. Results from the investigation revealed that the students had difficulty in interpreting the graphical information and making sense of the relationships between the mathematical content and the literacy demands within these tasks. Additionally, some students’ explanations suggest that they do not appreciate the relationship between the two axes on the graphs nor the importance of “keys” and other identifiers that link graphical information embedded within the respective tasks. Specific assessment issues are addressed and implications for mathematics practices are drawn out from the research results. This paper concludes with recommendations for explicit instruction, a cautionary note for interpreting graphics items on numeracy tests, and avenues for further research
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMeeting Challenges of Developing Quality Mathematics Education Culture
Place of PublicationSchool of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia
PublisherUniversiti Sains Malaysia
Pages430-436
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9789832700456
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventEast Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education (EARCOME) - Hotel Bayview George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Duration: 18 Jun 200722 Jun 2007
http://web.usm.my/education/earcome4/index.htm (conference website)

Conference

ConferenceEast Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education (EARCOME)
Abbreviated titleMeeting The Challenges Of Developing A Quality Mathematics Education Culture
CountryMalaysia
CityPenang
Period18/06/0722/06/07
Internet address

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