Metaphor
is a conceptual mapping from one domain to another. It helps student to
understand abstract and unfamiliar mathematical content knowledge through their
everyday experiences, familiar and concrete objects. The subject of prime and
composite number is a very important part of school mathematics curriculum at
basic level. Different teachers use several metaphors to assist students’
learning and encourage them to understand abstract ideas and concepts of
numbers. The main objective of this paper is to provide a glimpse of teaching
abstract mathematical content of prime and composite numbers through different
conceptual metaphor based on constructivist approaches for teaching and
learning. Action research was adopted with three level of interventions, followed
and corrected depending on observations and reflections. Different
interventions regarding the student experiences and everyday activities were
used to communicate the concepts of prime and composite numbers. The color
metaphor was applied as the first intervention. Then the area metaphor was
applied as the second intervention and finally the teacher used colorful
rainbow factore metaphor to analyze the change and improvement in classroom
practice of teachers. The pre-class and post class interview with teachers and
students were taken. From the classroom observation and interview, it was found
that conceptual metaphors used by the teachers in the classroom contributed for
the improvement of students’ understanding of the concepts.
Action research, Composite numbers, Conceptual metaphor, Prime numbers, ZPD