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Attributing meanings to representations of data: the case of statistical process control

Hoyles, Celia; Bakker, Arthur; Kent, Phillip; Noss, Richard; (2007) Attributing meanings to representations of data: the case of statistical process control. Mathematical Thinking and Learning , 9 (4) pp. 331-360. Green open access

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Abstract

This article is concerned with the meanings that employees in industry attribute to representations of data and the contingencies of these meanings upon context. Our primary concern is to characterise more precisely how the context of the industrial process is constitutive of the meaning of graphs of data derived from this process. We draw on data from a variety of sources including ethnographic studies of workplaces and reflections on the design of prototype learning activities supplemented by insights obtained from trying out these activities with a range of employees. The core of this article addresses how different groups of employees react to graphs used as part of statistical process control, focussing in particular on the meanings they ascribe to mean, variation, target, specification, trend and scale as depicted in the graphs. Using the notion of boundary crossing we try to characterise a method that helps employees to communicate about graphs and come to data-informed decisions.

Type: Article
Title: Attributing meanings to representations of data: the case of statistical process control
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Hoyles, Celia and Bakker, Arthur and Kent, Phillip and Noss, Richard (2007) Attributing meanings to representations of data: the case of statistical process control. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 9 (4). pp. 331-360. Mathematical Thinking and Learning is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/10986060701533326
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10001288
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