A climbing class’ reinvention of angles


A previous study shows how a twelve-year-old girl discovers angles in her narrative from a climbing trip. Based on this research, the girl’s class takes part in one day of climbing and half a day of follow-up work at school. The students mathematise their climbing with respect to angles and they express themselves in texts and drawings. Their written and drawn expressions are categorised into three different levels: recognition, description and contextual tool. In addition, these expressions are interpreted to be narrative or analytical. All the narrative expressions were categorised as level one or below, while some of the analytical expressions were categorised as belonging to higher levels. The research findings point at how to use analytical drawings in work with analytical texts in geometry.

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    Three students who all succeeded well in the pre-test and who enjoy climbing as well were absent the first day and could not be part of the project. Two more students did not take part in the CCP as their parents did not sign the written permission. However, these two students joined their class both of the days.


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Thanks a lot to teacher Frode Hansen and his class for their contribution to this work. I also would like to thank Odd Valdermo both for his support and for all his critical advice. Thanks to Therese Nøst who has contributed with advice and comments regarding climbing. Thanks to Tore Brattli for his excellent library support, Linn Sollied Madsen for language checking and Bjørn Braathen for advice as for the structure of the manuscript. Finally I would like to thank Hanne, Inger Johanne and Trine for belaying the climbing students.

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Correspondence to Anne Birgitte Fyhn.

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Fyhn, A.B. A climbing class’ reinvention of angles. Educ Stud Math 67, 19–35 (2008) doi:10.1007/s10649-007-9087-z

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  • Analytical drawing
  • Angle
  • Climbing
  • Contextual tool
  • Embodied cognition
  • Flow
  • Van Hiele
  • Mathematising
  • Reinvention