To translate between different perspectives in belief research: a comparison between two studies
A common problem in belief research seems to be a missing link between aspects of theory and empirical analyses and results. This issue highlights a question of how dependent empirical studies about beliefs actually are on the theoretical perspective described in the study. In this paper, I examine relationships between two different perspectives. One perspective focuses on belief change, and seems to rely on a type of cognitive perspective, where beliefs can be characterized as mental objects. The other perspective argues for moving away from such cognitive perspective and instead to adopt a participatory perspective in the analysis of mathematics teaching. The results show that the study about belief change is not dependent on seeing beliefs as mental objects, but that this study could as well have been located within a participatory perspective.
Magnus Österholm has a PhD in mathematics education from Linköping University and now works as a research fellow at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education at Umeå University. He is also a member of Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC). During 2011 and 2012 he is a visiting scholar at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His research interests deal primarily with mathematics education at the upper secondary and university levels, where cognitive and metacognitive perspectives are of special interest, together with studying language and communication in the learning and teaching of mathematics.