Semiotic mediation in the mathematics classroom

Artifacts and signs after a Vygotskian perspective

Authored by: Maria G. Bartolini Bussi , Maria Alessandra Mariotti

Handbook of International Research in Mathematics Education

Print publication date:  June  2008
Online publication date:  April  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805858754
eBook ISBN: 9780203930236
Adobe ISBN: 9781135192761


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The construction and the use of artifacts 1 —in particular complex artifacts—seems to be characteristic of human activities, but even more characteristic of human beings seems to be the possibility of the contribution of such artifacts beyond the practical level, e.g., their contribution at the cognitive level. In the field of practice, tools have always played a crucial role; often practical problems are related to the use of an artifact, so that often the solution process of a given problem and the design of an artifact, expressly designed to support that solution, have been mutually developed. At best extent theoretical knowledge may be considered as originating from such a mutual shaping in a long-term process, the traces of which can sometimes be reconstructed.

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