Phenomena related to the use of metaphors in the speech of teacher. The case of functions graphs. (Fenómenos relacionados con el uso de metáforas en el discurso del profesor. El caso de las gráficas de funciones.) (Spanish. English summary)

Enseñ. Cienc. 21, No. 3, 405-418 (2003).

Summary: The authors comment a phenomenon that is observed when analyzing the teacher’s discourse while explaining the graphical representation of functions in high school. The teacher uses expressions that suggest, among others, metaphors like “The graph of a function can be considered as the trace of a point that moves over the graph". In the first part, the theoretical framework about the embodiment of mind proposed by Lakoff and Núñez is presented. In the second part, the authors comment the different metaphors that have structured the concept of graph of functions. In the third part the study of a teacher ‒ following the sequence: a) video-recording of a class, b) interviews, c) analysis of the productions of the students ‒ is described which shows that the teacher uses these metaphors in a not complete conscious way and that he believes that their effects in the understanding of the students are innocuous. The authors end up with some conclusions about the possible causes of this phenomenon.