Building on Covariation: Making Explicit Four Types of “Multivariation”

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Covariation and covariational reasoning have become key themes in mathematics education research. In this theoretical paper, I build on the construct of covariation by considering cases where more than two variables relate to each other, in what can be called “multivariation.” I share the results of a conceptual analysis that led to the identification of four distinct types of multivariation: independent, dependent, nested, and vector. I also describe a second conceptual analysis in which I took the mental actions of relationship, increase/decrease, and amount from the covariational reasoning framework, and imagined what analogous mental actions might be for each of these types of multivariation. These conceptual analyses are useful in order to scaffold future empirical work in creating a complete multivariational reasoning framework.

Location: RUME Conference, San Diego, California

Steven Jones, Brigham Young University