How do students' solutions to a problem-solving task change after attempting to understand an algebra-focused sample solution?

McCance, Lorna (2014) How do students' solutions to a problem-solving task change after attempting to understand an algebra-focused sample solution? [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

Abstract

This study, in the context of mathematical problem solving, aims to

explore the ways in which a piece of sample work affects pupils’ solutions

to problem-solving tasks. Mathematical problem solving is a rich, evolving

field and the use of sample work is a relatively recent development within

it. Many people believe sample student work to be useful (Evans and

Swan, 2013; Evans, Mullins and Waring, 2014) but there is not a wealth of

empirical evidence surrounding it. In this study four problem-solving tasks

were used with the same class; each had potential to be solved

algebraically. For each task an algebraically themed piece of sample work

was carefully designed by the researcher. Pupils’ work on the tasks before

and after attempting to understand the sample work provides the main

data source. Follow up interviews were carried out with four students,

chosen based on work they had produced. The prominent theme emerging

was that the influence the sample work had on pupils’ solutions depended

on how readily pupils understood the sample solution. This is argued to

pertain to Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. The implications of

this and other findings in relation to design and use of sample work are

discussed.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gigg, Diane
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2015 11:45
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 03:16
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/28229

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