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Title: Developmental semiotics : the evolution of a theoretical framework for the description of meaning-making in mathematics education and in mathematics.
Author: Vile, Adam William.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3547 3439
Awarding Body: South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 1996
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It is the purpose of this work to evaluate the possible contribution that a semiotic perspective could make to mathematics education and mathematics. This emphasis of this work is on the development of a semiotic perspective, emerging from the work of C. S Peirce and L. Vygotsky, that embodies both the philosophical and psychological notions of the role of the sign. This perspective, termed Developmental Semiotics, evolves through the interplay of the theoretical and empirical aspects of this work. Developmental semiotics is applied in the form of a prototype as an empirical tool to two case studies, one concerning algebra and one concerning co-ordinate representations. The results of these studies serve to inform the evolution of the perspective and provide some conclusions specific to the case studies arising from this way of viewing learning in these contexts. The perspective is refined in the light of the studies and a further case study is carried out, this time in the area of the history of mathematics (the development of Boolean algebra), with the purpose of evaluating the final form of the framework and informing on mathematical development, creativity and motivation. Developmental semiotics has implications at two levels, on the macro semiotic level it brings forward the emphasis on the role of the sign in mathematical meaning-making, it rejects the traditional subject-object dichotomy and through semiotic action accounts for the relativity in mathematical meanings. At the micro semiotic level it describes mathematical development in terms of progressive meaning making instances for increasingly opaque signs and gives specific information about the meanings made by mathematics learners in specific contexts. In some instances it has enabled the identification of meanings that may be useful for mathematical progression. This work hopes to contribute to mathematics education by bringing to the fore the discipline of semiotics through emphasis on the role of the sign as a meaning giving entity, and through provision of a framework and empirical toolkit for the semiotic analysis of specific learning contexts. Furthermore it may also contribute to both mathematics, by exposing the history of mathematics to a semiotic analysis, and to semiotics itself by providing a further context for the application of this cross disciplinary point of view.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mathematics education: Semiotics