Reference : The use of mathematical symbolism in problem solving : an empirical study carried out...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Education & instruction
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/21013
The use of mathematical symbolism in problem solving : an empirical study carried out in grade one in the French Community of Belgium
English
Fagnant, Annick mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département d'éducation et formation > Analyse des systèmes et pratiques d'enseignement >]
Dec-2005
European Journal of Psychology of Education
Inst Superior Psicologia Aplicada
XX
4
355-367
Yes (verified by ORBi)
International
0256-2928
Lisboa
[en] arithmetical problems ; empirical study ; pupil profile ; top-down vs. bottom-up type approaches ; use of symbolism
[en] This article relates to an empirical study based on the use of mathematical symbolism in problem solving. Twenty-five pupils were interviewed individually at the end of grade one; each of them was asked to solve and symbolize 14 different problems. In their classical curriculum, these pupils have received a traditional education based on a "top-down" approach (an approach that is still applied within the French Community of Belgium): conventional symbols are presented to the pupils immediately with an explanation of what they represent and how they should be used. Teaching then focuses on calculation techniques (considered as a pre-requisite for solving problems). The results presented here show the abilities (and difficulties) demonstrated by the children in making connections between the conventional symbolism taught in class and the informal approaches they develop when faced with the problems that arc, put to them. The limits of the "top-down" approach are then discussed as opposed to the more innovative "bottom-up" type approaches, such as those developed by supporters of Realistic Mathematics Educations in particular.
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/21013

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