History


Help on query formulation
Schuelerschwierigkeiten beim Interpretieren und Deuten von mathematischen Aufgabenstellungen. (Elevers svarighter att formulera matematiska problem.) (Swedish)
Nord. Mat.didakt. 1, No. 1, 40-54 (1993).
The aim of the article is to shed light upon obstacles that pupils face when interpreting mathematical tasks at school and to discuss how teaching can help children to overcome such obstacles. The observations reported draw on data gathered within a research project, ’Everyday Common Sense and School Mathematics’, comprising tape recorded instances of group work, where children at the intermediate level of compulsory school and teachers in in-service training solve mathematical tasks. The article focuses on the cognizing subject’s interpretation of the task at hand - the cognitive context created. Four concepts are introduced characterising contextualizations of different kinds; contextual dominance, contextual indeterminacy, contextual awareness and context preference. These concepts direct attention towards the subject’s attitude then interpreting a given task and the impact such attitudes have on the understanding of the mathematical content of the task. The results indicate that pupils, as well as teachers, have difficulties in attending to and accepting a mathematical interpretation of given tasks. Teachers who set out to help pupils to obtain generalizable knowledge, must take into account the pupils’ interpretations of assignments and the rules that pupils use when contextualizing given tasks. In communication with others such rules can be made explicit and the results reveal how pupils, who are encouraged to argue for their solutions to a task can reach a deeper understanding of their own personal and idiosyncratic ways of thinking. (orig.)
Classification: D50
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