An Investigation In The
Use Of Semiotic To Analyze Manipulative-Based Activities Recommended For The
Teaching Of Middle School Mathematics
Sondra Johnson Yarbrough
W. Sunal, Vivian R. Moody
Source: DAI, 62,
no. 09A (2001): p. 2997
The semiotic developed by Charles S.
Peirce was used to examine ways in which a theory of signs can inform
mathematics educators in regard to the use of manipulatives as representations
of mathematical concepts. Peirce's theory of signs, including the ten classes
of signs found in his semiotic, was described as a part of this study.
Activities recommended by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for
teaching mathematics at the middle school level were selected and analyzed in
accordance with Peirce's semiotic. Semiosical characteristics of the manipulative-based
activities were identified and the ways in which the manipulatives represent
mathematics were classified according to the ten classes of signs. The analysis
indicated that examining manipulative-based activities from a semiosical perspective
can illuminate some general characteristics of manipulative use, aid in the
identification of important features of individual activities, and add clarity
to the discourse on the use of manipulatives as representations of mathematics.