
06514431
j
2016a.00965
Dimmel, Justin K.
Herbst, Patricio G.
The semiotic structure of geometry diagrams: how textbook diagrams convey meaning.
J. Res. Math. Educ. 46, No. 2, 147195 (2015).
2015
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Reston, VA
EN
U20
G40
E40
geometric concepts
geometry diagrams
textbooks
semiotics
systemic functional linguistics
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5951/jresematheduc.46.2.0147
Summary: Geometry diagrams use the visual features of specific drawn objects to convey meaning about generic mathematical entities. We examine the semiotic structure of these visual features in two parts. One, we conduct a semiotic inquiry to conceptualize geometry diagrams as mathematical texts that comprise choices from different semiotic systems. Two, we use the semiotic catalog that results from this inquiry to analyze 2,300 diagrams from 22 high school geometry textbooks in which the dates of publication span the 20th century. In the first part of the article, we identify axes along which the features of geometry diagrams can vary, and in the second part of the article, we show the viability of using the semiotic framework to conduct empirical studies of diagrams in geometry textbooks.