Mathematics Teacher Candidates’ Metaphors about the Concept of “Mathematics”
The main purpose of this study was to research mathematics teacher candidates’ perceptions about the concept of “mathematics” through the use of metaphors. The research is conducted during 2012-2013 academic year, on a group of 111 mathematics teacher candidates at the Education Faculty of a University in Turkey. To collect the research data, each participant was asked to complete the prompt “Mathematics is like . . . because . . .” The content analysis technique was used in this study in order to evaluate the data collected. As a result of the data analysis, it was found that 67 valid metaphors were developed by the participants. These metaphors were grouped under 14 categories. According to these categories, about 77% of mathematics teacher candidates perceived mathematics as “Limitless”, “Interconnected”, “Basically needed”, “Fun”, “Cumulative”, “Indispensable” figure and as a figure which laid the “foundation for other sciences”. The remaining 23% perceived mathematics as “Hard-to-understand”, “Guiding”, “Universal language”, “Requiring continuity”, “Yet to be solved”, “Mind developing” and “Having single correct answer.”
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