id: 02304382
dt: j
an: 1994e.01928
au: Mtetwa, D.K.J.
ti: Problem solving, beliefs about mathematics, and the long arm of
examinations.
so: Zimb. J. Educ. Res. 4, No. 2, 117-130 (1992).
py: 1992
pu: ,
la: EN
cc: C24
ut:
ci:
li:
ab: The main objective of this study was to explore and uncover the kinds of
beliefs Zimbabwean secondary school students hold concerning the nature
of mathematics, the learning of mathematics, and the doing of
mathematics. The study focused on Form 4 students (11th graders,
typically 16 years old) and used in-depth individual interviews of 10
students (4 of them males) to gather data. A preliminary survey was
used to structure the interviews, and video-taped observations of
classroom sessions were done to explore the relationship between the
beliefs and the context in which most of the mathematics is learned.
Analysis uncovered 46 beliefs. The nature of the beliefs suggests that
the students simultaneously and mostly subconsciously hold two distinct
views of mathematics. The views, which can be characterized as
’discipline’ mathematics and ’examination’ mathematics, overlap
to varying degrees in different individuals and have conflicting
characteristics in some aspects. Futhermore, the views appear to be
strongly influenced and dominated largely by an evaluation effect
originating from the practice and culture of summative national
examinations and, to some extend, by the nature of the mathematics
curriculum and a lack of exposure to genuine problem solving activities
in the students’ learning experiences. (orig.)
rv: