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The role of operating premises and reasoning paths in upper elementary students' problem solving

Diezmann, Carmel M. (2004) The role of operating premises and reasoning paths in upper elementary students' problem solving. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 23(1), pp. 63-73.

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Abstract

The validity of students' reasoning is central to problem solving. However, equally important are the operating premises from which students' reason about problems. These premises are based on students' interpretations of the problem information. This paper describes various premises that eleven- and twelve-year-old students derived from the information in a particular problem, and the way in which these premises formed part of their reasoning during a lesson. The teacher's identification of differences in students' premises for reasoning in this problem shifted the emphasis in a class discussion from the reconciliation of the various problem solutions and a focus on a sole correct reasoning path, to the identification of the students' premises and the appropriateness of their various reasoning paths. Problem information that can be interpreted ambiguously creates rich mathematical opportunities because students are required to articulate their assumptions, and, thereby identify the origin of their reasoning, and to evaluate the assumptions and reasoning of their peers.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 1507
Item Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmathb.2003.12.004
ISSN: 0732-3123
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy (130208)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 08 Jun 2005
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:05

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