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Sfard’s Commognitive Framework as a Method of Discourse Analysis in Mathematics

This paper discusses Sfard’s commognitive approach and provides an empirical study as an example to illustrate the theory as method. Traditionally, research in mathematics education focused on the acquisition of mathematical knowledge and the didactic process of knowledge transfer. Through attending to a distinctive form of language in mathematics, as well as mathematics as a discursive subject, alternative views of making meaning in mathematics have emerged; these views are therefore “critical,” as in critical discourse analysis. The commognitive discourse analysis method has the potential to bring more clarity to our understanding of students’ mathematical thinking and the process through which students are socialized into school mathematics.

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