Date of Award
Education, Algebra, Meaning-making, Social cognition, Visual arts
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It is commonplace to hold that algebra and the visual arts are mutually exclusive activities. In this thesis, an attempt was made to connect how we learn in algebra and the visual arts from the social cognitive perspective proposed by Bandura (1986, 1997). That is, the personal, social, and behavioural dimensions of learning in algebra and the visual arts were considered. Also, the issue of a connection between algebra and the visual arts was tackled by taking into account the most recent advances in cognitive science, like the "situated movement," the notion, in a nutshell, that cognition is extended throughout our social relations and practices. Making the connection between, what Snow (1959) called generally the "two cultures" (cited in Stent, 2001, p. 31) of art and science, has precedence. There have been attempts, as interpreted in this thesis, to consider what learning in the arts and sciences have in common from various quarters, be they philosophical, psychological, or historical. Identifying the link between algebra and the visual arts involved several things. First, the historical context for the schism between our understanding of learning in algebra and the visual arts was considered. Second, a detailed review-cum-analysis of the literature was undertaken, and this yielded the themes upon which the connections between algebra and the visual arts were made. Turning to the fieldwork, four probing case studies were utilized to explore how those in algebra or the visual arts learn in their fields. By analyzing the data from the case studies, pattern regularities between learning in algebra and the visual arts were extracted. Finally, the theoretical and pedagogical consequences of having made the common link between algebra and the visual arts were addressed. Theoretically, by considering the role of, for instance, aesthetics and identity as reasons to pursue algebra or the visual arts, Bandura's (1986, 1997) social cognitive theory was corroborated and enlarged. Practically, recommendations were offered for the pedagogy of algebra and the visual arts.
Gupta, Anoop, "The Common Link: An Exploration of the Social Cognitive Dimensions of Meaning-Making in Algebra and the Visual Arts Using a Case Study Approach" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8200.