Supportive and Problematic Conceptions in Making Sense of Mathematics

A Mathematics Education Group Research Seminar Series, presented by Dr Kin Eng Chin

One of the main aims of mathematics education is to help students to make sense of mathematics. When students cannot make sense of mathematics then over the longer term these students are likely to quit taking mathematics. In this seminar, Kin Eng will introduce a framework so as to understand how humans make sense of mathematics in particular when it involves the transitions between different contexts. This framework is formulated during Kin Eng’s PhD study to investigate how a group of student teachers made sense of trigonometry. Over the years, several research studies on different mathematics topics were performed in order to exemplify this framework.

Dr Kin Eng, Chin is currently a visiting scholar at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. He is a senior lecturer in mathematics education in the Faculty of Psychology and Education at The University Malaysia Sabah. He completed his PhD at The University of Warwick under the direction of Emeritus Prof. David Tall. In his PhD thesis, he has developed new theoretical constructs of supportive and problematic aspects extending Sfard’s notion of personal conception blended with Tall’s evolving framework of ‘Three Worlds of Mathematics’. Kin Eng’s research area of interest is mathematical thinking at secondary level and tertiary level.