An investigation into the tension arising between natural language and mathematical language experienced by mechanical engineering students

Michael D. Peters, Edward Graham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This investigation is grounded within the concept of embodied cognition where the mind is considered to be part of a biological system. A first year undergraduate Mechanical Engineering cohort of students was tasked with explaining the behaviour of three balls of different masses being rolled down a ramp. The explanations given by the students highlighted the cognitive conflict between the everyday interpretation of the word energy and its mathematical use. The results showed that even after many years of schooling, students found it challenging to interpret the mathematics they had learned and relied upon pseudo-scientific notions to account for the behaviour of the balls.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 8th Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education
EditorsBehiye Ubuz, Çiğdem Haser, Maria Alessandra Mariotti
Place of PublicationAnkara (TR)
Pages1536-1545
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2013
Event8th Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education - Antalya, Turkey
Duration: 6 Feb 201310 Feb 2013

Congress

Congress8th Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education
Abbreviated titleCERME 8
CountryTurkey
CityAntalya
Period6/02/1310/02/13

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mechanical engineering
language
student
cognition
mathematics
energy
interpretation

Cite this

Peters, M. D., & Graham, E. (2013). An investigation into the tension arising between natural language and mathematical language experienced by mechanical engineering students. In B. Ubuz, Ç. Haser, & M. A. Mariotti (Eds.), Proceedings of 8th Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education (pp. 1536-1545). Ankara (TR).
Peters, Michael D. ; Graham, Edward. / An investigation into the tension arising between natural language and mathematical language experienced by mechanical engineering students. Proceedings of 8th Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education. editor / Behiye Ubuz ; Çiğdem Haser ; Maria Alessandra Mariotti. Ankara (TR), 2013. pp. 1536-1545
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Peters, MD & Graham, E 2013, An investigation into the tension arising between natural language and mathematical language experienced by mechanical engineering students. in B Ubuz, Ç Haser & MA Mariotti (eds), Proceedings of 8th Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education. Ankara (TR), pp. 1536-1545, 8th Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, Antalya, Turkey, 6/02/13.

An investigation into the tension arising between natural language and mathematical language experienced by mechanical engineering students. / Peters, Michael D.; Graham, Edward.

Proceedings of 8th Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education. ed. / Behiye Ubuz; Çiğdem Haser; Maria Alessandra Mariotti. Ankara (TR), 2013. p. 1536-1545.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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AB - This investigation is grounded within the concept of embodied cognition where the mind is considered to be part of a biological system. A first year undergraduate Mechanical Engineering cohort of students was tasked with explaining the behaviour of three balls of different masses being rolled down a ramp. The explanations given by the students highlighted the cognitive conflict between the everyday interpretation of the word energy and its mathematical use. The results showed that even after many years of schooling, students found it challenging to interpret the mathematics they had learned and relied upon pseudo-scientific notions to account for the behaviour of the balls.

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Peters MD, Graham E. An investigation into the tension arising between natural language and mathematical language experienced by mechanical engineering students. In Ubuz B, Haser Ç, Mariotti MA, editors, Proceedings of 8th Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education. Ankara (TR). 2013. p. 1536-1545