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Revista electrónica de investigación en educación en ciencias

On-line version ISSN 1850-6666


MARTINEZ SIERRA, Gustavo  and  ANTONIO ANTONIO, Rocío. Una construcción del significado del número complejo. Rev. electrón. investig. educ. cienc. [online]. 2009, vol.4, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 1850-6666.

This article presents the results of an investigation into the construction of knowledge. We are particularly interested in studying the processes involved in the articulation of conceptual mathematics systems which we have called processes of convention and mathematical articulation (Martínez-Sierra, 2005). More specifically, this work looks further into which alternatives may be feasible for the construction of the meaning of complex numbers in schools, under the hypothesis that meaning can be built through the process of mathematical convention. The analysis of the students' production, while working on a sequence of activities designed by us based on the above hypothesis, provides evidence that in spite of the students' insistence that "square roots of negative numbers do not exist," our sequence induced them to operate with them and in this way build a meaning on the operative plane.

Keywords : Construction of knowledge; Mathematical convention process; Complex number epistemology; Roots of polynomials.

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