The affordance of visual tools
The potential of visual representations of pricing facilitating an epistemic practice in economics teaching
Keywords: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.
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