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A modeling perspective on student's mathematical reasoning about data

Doerr, Helen M. & English, Lyn D. (2003) A modeling perspective on student's mathematical reasoning about data. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 34(2), pp. 110-136.

Abstract

A modeling approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics shifts the focus of the learning activity from finding a solution to a particular problem to creating a system of relationships that is generalizable and reusable. In this article, we discuss the nature of a sequence of tasks that can be used to elicit the development of such systems by middle school students. We report the results of our research with these tasks at two levels. First, we present a detailed analysis of the mathematical reasoning development of one small group of students across the sequence of tasks. Second, we provide a macrolevel analysis of the diversity of thinking patterns identified on two of the problem tasks where we incorporate data from multiple groups of students. Student reasoning about the relationships between and among quantities and their application in related situations is discussed. The results suggest that students were able to create generalizable and reusable systems or models for selecting, ranking, and weighting data. Furthermore, the extent of variations in the approaches that students took suggests that there are multiple paths for the development of ideas about ranking data for decision making.

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ID Code: 1656
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Lyn English l.english@qut.edu.au
Additional URLs:
Keywords: cognitive development, conceptual knowledge, higher order thinking, mathematical modeling, middle grades 5, 8, problem solving, reasoning, statistics
ISSN: 0021-8251
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy (130208)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Deposited On: 27 Jun 2005
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 18:07

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