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The role of definitions in example classification

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conference contribution
posted on 26.09.2011 by Lara Alcock, Adrian Simpson
This paper reports an empirical study of students’ classification of sequences before and after meeting explicit definitions of ‘increasing’ and ‘decreasing’. In doing so, it explores 1) students’ interpretations of the definitions and 2) the appropriateness of this apparently straightforward context for teaching students about the status of mathematical definitions. In particular, it demonstrates that students’ spontaneous conceptions in this context can be inconsistent with definitions, and it explores the extent to which exposure to formal definitions influences these conceptions. The results show an interesting pattern of modified classifications, which demonstrates increased consistency with the definitions but shows problems with some pivotal examples.
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  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Citation

ALCOCK, L. and SIMPSON, A., 2009. The role of definitions in example classification. IN: Tzekaki,M., Kaldrimidou, M. and Haralambos, S. (eds). Proceedings of the 33rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, PME 33, 19-24 July 2009, Thessaloniki, Greece : in Search For Theories in Mathematics Education. Thessaloniki, Greece : International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, pp. 33-40

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PME © The authors

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VoR (Version of Record)

Publication date

2009

Notes

This is a conference paper.

Language

en

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