© 2003

Toward an Anthropology of Graphing

Semiotic and Activity-Theoretic Perspectives


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Toward an Anthropology of Graphing

    1. Wolff-Michael Roth
      Pages 1-21
  3. Graphing in Captivity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-23
    2. Wolff-Michael Roth
      Pages 25-67
    3. Wolff-Michael Roth
      Pages 69-101
    4. Wolff-Michael Roth
      Pages 103-145
    5. Wolff-Michael Roth
      Pages 147-183
  4. Graphing in the Wild

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 185-185
    2. Wolff-Michael Roth
      Pages 187-220
    3. Wolff-Michael Roth
      Pages 221-266
    4. Wolff-Michael Roth
      Pages 267-309
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 311-342

About this book


During the summer of 1990, while taking my holidays to teach a university course of physics for elementary teachers, I also tutored one of the tenth-grade students at my school in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. In return for working with him for free, I had requested permission to audiotape our sessions; I wanted to use the transcripts as data sources for a chapter that I had been in­ vited to write. It so happened that I discovered and read Jean Lave's Cognition in Practice that very summer, which inspired me to read other books on mathe­ matics in everyday situations. Two years later, while conducting a study with my teacher colleague G. Michael Bowen on eighth-grade students' learning during an open-inquiry ecology unit, I discovered these students' tremendous data analysis skills that appeared to be a function of the deep familiarity with the objects and events that they had studied and mathematized earlier in the unit. I reported my findings in two articles, 'Mathematization of experience in a grade 8 open-inquiry environment: An introduction to the representational practices of science' and 'Where is the context in contextual word problems?: Mathematical practices and products in Grade 8 students' answers to story problems'. I Begin­ ning with that study, I developed a research agenda that focused on mathemati­ cal knowing in science and science-related professions. During the early 1990s, I was also interested in the notion of authentic practice as a metaphor for planning school science curriculum.


Nation Transformation anthropology ecology nature

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of VictoriaBritish ColumbiaCanada

Bibliographic information