The affordance of visual tools

The potential of visual representations of pricing facilitating an epistemic practice in economics teaching


  • Ann-Sofie Jägerskog Stockholm University



visual representation, visual tool, pricing, economics education, teaching-learning practice, epistemic practice


Purpose: This paper results from an intervention study focusing on the relationship between visual representation used in teaching about pricing in economics and teaching-learning practices established in the classroom, with a focus on the affordance offered through the representations used. 

Method: Lessons were conducted with four upper secondary classes: two had lessons based on graphs and two on a causal loop diagram. Transcriptions of the lesson, including small group discussions, were analysed using a practice theory perspective, identifying actions and goals driving them. Results arising from the two representations were compared. 

Findings: Different actions were mediated through the different representations. A causal loop diagram afforded more qualified actions, and more epistemic teaching-learning practices, than graphs. 

Research limitations/implications: This study should be replicated with different subject contents /visual representations. 

Practical implications: Choice of visual tools used in teaching will affect the practice established and thus the knowledge made available for students to experience. 

Author Biography

Ann-Sofie Jägerskog, Stockholm University

Dr Ann-Sofie Jägerskog is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education, Stockholm University. Her research interests are teaching and learning in the social sciences, teaching and learning through visual representations, as well as economics teaching.


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