Visual Roots of Mathematical Cognitive Activity

  • Ferdinand D. Rivera
Part of the Mathematics Education Library book series (MELI, volume 49)


Fischbein (1977) in the opening epigraph is certainly correct in pointing out our natural predisposition toward constructing images in order to make sense of some knowledge that appears to us perhaps initially in either linguistic or alphanumeric form. In the case of Gemiliano, he liked mathematics despite his many struggles with its symbolic aspect because in most cases he understood what was happening, at least visually. I should note that visualizing facts and images does not necessarily imply the use of pictures alone. They could also be routed propositionally, that is, in either linguistic or algebraic form. But whether those images take the shape of pictures or language, I underscore a basic problem some learners have in the case of school mathematical objects, concepts, and processes, that make sense despite the absence of any natural mapping with the real world.


Visual Representation Mathematical Knowledge Cognitive Activity Visual Experience Mathematical Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsSan Jose State UniversitySan Jose CaliforniaUSA

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