Sociocultural context as a facilitator of student learning of function concepts in mathematics
Keywords:Learning, context, motivation, culture, socio-culture, teaching
AbstractIn Costa Rica, many secondary students have serious difficulties to establish relationships between mathematics and real-life contexts. They question the utilitarian role of the school mathematics. This fact motivated the research object of this report which evidences the need to overcome methodologies unrelated to students’ reality, toward new didactical options that help students to value mathematics, reasoning and its applications, connecting it with their socio-cultural context. The research used a case study as a qualitative methodology and the social constructivism as an educational paradigm in which the knowledge is built by the student; as a product of his social interactions. A collection of learning situations was designed, validated, and implemented. It allowed establishing relationships between mathematical concepts and the socio-cultural context of participants. It analyzed the impact of students’socio-cultural context in their mathematics learning of basic concepts of real variable functions, consistent with the Ministry of Education (MEP) Official Program. Among the results, it was found that using students’sociocultural context improved their motivational processes, mathematics sense making, and promoted cooperative social interactions. It was evidenced that contextualized learning situations favored concepts comprehension that allow students to see mathematics as a discipline closely related with their every-day life.
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