Magnus Österholm
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Title:What is so special about mathematical texts? Analyses of common claims in research literature and of properties of textbooks
Type:Article in the journal ZDM - The International Journal on Mathematics Education
Fulltext: Available on the webpage of the journal; direct link (limited access)
 Author version available, pdf-document
 
Abstract:
This study surveys claims in research articles regarding linguistic properties of mathematical texts, focusing on claims supported by empirical or logical arguments. It also performs a linguistic analysis to determine whether some of these claims are valid for school textbooks in mathematics and history. The result of the survey shows many and varying claims that mainly describe mathematical texts as highly compact, precise, complex, and containing technical vocabulary. However, very few studies present empirical support for their claims, and the few empirical studies that do exist contradict the most common, and unsupported, claims, since no empirical study has shown mathematical texts to be more complex than texts from other subjects, and any significant differences rather indicate the opposite. The linguistic analysis in this study is in line with previous empirical studies and stands in contrast to the more common opinion in the unsupported claims. For example, the mathematics textbooks have significantly shorter sentences than the history textbooks.
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Magnus Österholm
Main page
Publications
CV
Research

Umeå University
Umeå School of Education
Faculty of Science and
Technology

Department of Science
and Mathematics Education

Umeå Mathematics
Education Research Centre


Mid Sweden University
Faculty of Science,
Technology and Media

Department of Mathematics
and Science Education


Monash University
Faculty of Education
Inclusive Mathematics
Education Research Group


Linköping University
The Institute of Technology
Department of Mathematics


 
 

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Contact for this page: magnus.osterholm@umu.se

 

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