The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales by Bill BartonThe Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales by Bill Barton

The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales

byBill Barton

Paperback | February 23, 2009

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The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales emerges from several contemporary concerns in mathematics, language, and mathematics education, but takes a different stance with respect to language. Rather than investigating the way language or culture impacts mathematics and how it is learned, this book begins by examining different languages and how they express mathematical ideas. The picture of mathematics that emerges is of a subject that is much more contingent, relative, and subject to human experience than is usually accepted. Barton's thesis takes the idea of mathematics as a human creation, and, using the evidence from language, comes to more radical conclusions than usual.Everyday mathematical ideas are expressed quite differently in different languages. Variety occurs in the way languages express numbers, describe position, categorise patterns, as well as in the grammar of mathematical discourse. The first part of The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales explores these differences and thus illustrates the possibility of different mathematical worlds. This section both provides evidence of language difference with respect to mathematic talk and also demonstrates the congruence between mathematics as we know it and the English language. Other languages are not so congruent.Part II discusses what this means for mathematics and argues for alternative answers to conventional questions about mathematics: where it comes from, how it develops, what it does and what it means. The notion that mathematics is the same for everyone, that it is an expression of universal human thought, is challenged. In addition, the relationship between language and mathematical thought is used to argue that the mathematical creativity embedded in minority languages should continue to be exploredThe final section explores implications for mathematics education, discussing the consequences for the ways in which we learn and teach mathematics. The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales will appeal to those interested in exploring the nature of mathematics, mathematics educators, researchers and graduate students of mathematics education.
Title:The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical TalesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:198 pages, 9.25 × 6.1 × 0 inPublished:February 23, 2009Publisher:Springer USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0387929371

ISBN - 13:9780387929378

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Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction.- Part 1: Speaking Mathematics Differently. Space: Points of Reference. Space: Static and Dynamic World Views. Quantitiy: Trapping Numbers in Grammatical Nets.- Part 2: Language and Mathematics. The Evidence from Language. Mumbling, Metaphors, and Mindlocks: The Origins of Mathematics. A Never-Ending Braid: The Development of Mathematics. What is Mathematics? Philosophical Comments.- Part 3: Implications for Mathematics Education. Learning Mathematics. Multilingual and Indigenous Mathematics Education. End Words.- References. Index.- Appendices.