The Interplay of Language and Objects in the Process of Abstracting

  • Marei FetzerEmail author
  • Kerstin Tiedemann
Part of the ICME-13 Monographs book series (ICME13Mo)


Abstracting is an important mathematical process. Students should think and talk about abstract mathematical entities, such as mathematical objects, relations, and processes. With regard to the process of abstracting, concrete didactic material and an abstract decontextualized language are often conceptualized as opposites. In this paper, we offer a theoretical framework that allows a new perspective on the interplay of language and objects in the process of abstracting. We combine three theoretical perspectives, namely the perspectives of empirical abstracting, of recontextualization and of objects as actors to analyse data collected in mathematics lessons in primary schools and, in addition, in tutorial sessions at the university.


Language Objects Manipulatives Abstracting Recontextualization Actor-Network-Theory 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goethe-University of FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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