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# The Appropriation of Mathematical Symbols: A Psychosemiotic Approach to Mathematics Learning

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The Appropriation of Mathematical Symbols: A Psychosemiotic Approach to Mathematics Learning book

# The Appropriation of Mathematical Symbols: A Psychosemiotic Approach to Mathematics Learning

DOI link for The Appropriation of Mathematical Symbols: A Psychosemiotic Approach to Mathematics Learning

The Appropriation of Mathematical Symbols: A Psychosemiotic Approach to Mathematics Learning book

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## ABSTRACT

There is probably no dispute about the importance of symbol use in mathematical thinking. Nevertheless, the appropriation of symbols remains one of the stumbling blocks in mathematics education for many pupils. In this chapter I discuss the appropriation of mathematical symbols from the perspective of action psychology, drawing to a large extent from the works of Vygotsky and his followers. The first part of the chapter gives a theoretical account of my psychological approach, putting it into a historical context and describing some of its core concepts. Action, activity, and meaning are key concepts in this approach. In the later sections of this chapter, I analyze mathematical symbol formation and mathematical concept learning from this psychosemiotic perspective. In addition to the psychosemiotic analysis, it is argued that a developmental approach to these learning processes is needed to fully understand the construction of mathematical meanings. In a last part of the chapter, I give some examples of how the promotion and development of symbol-meaning construction can be initiated during early education, laying a basis for the appropriation of mathematical symbols later on.