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The space between an unknown and a variable

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conference contribution
posted on 08.07.2015, 13:37 by Dave HewittDave Hewitt
The meaning given to letters is significant for students’ ability to be successful with algebraic tasks. Recent studies have noted that even when students have a sense of generalised number, they often have a natural number bias in the values they think a letter can take. This study analyses interviews from 13 students across two schools to explore the meaning they had for letters. The responses supported the idea that some students have a natural number bias and also that the notion of a letter representing a fraction is problematic. In addition, three other factors emerged which affected the meaning given to a letter: what was mentally stressed; the desire to avoid “messy” calculations; and viewing an equation as an example of a wider class of equations.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education Joint Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME 38) and PME North America Chapter (PME-NA 36)

Volume

3

Pages

289 - 296 (8)

Citation

HEWITT, D., 2014. The space between an unknown and a variable. IN: Oesterle, S., Liljedahl, P., Nicol, C., and Allan, D. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME 38/ PME-NA 36) Vancouver, Canada, volume 3, pp. 289 - 296.

Publisher

© the authors. Published by PME

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2014

Notes

This is a conference paper.

ISBN

9780864913630

Language

en

Location

Vancouver, Canada

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