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Children's strategies for solving two - and three - dimensional combinatorial problems

English, Lyn D. (2007) Children's strategies for solving two - and three - dimensional combinatorial problems. In Leder, Gilah C. & Forgasz, Helen J. (Eds.) Stepping stones for the 21st century : Australasian mathematics education research. Sense Publishers, The Netherlands, pp. 139-156.

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Abstract

The study investigated the strategies that 7- to 12-year-old children spontaneously apply to the solution of novel combinatorial problems. The children were individually administered a set of six problems involving the dressing of toy bears in all possible combinations of tops and pants (twodimensional) or tops, pants, and tennis rackets (three-dimensional). Two sets of solution procedures were identified, each comprising a series of five increasingly complex strategies ranging from trial-and-error approaches to sophisticated odometer procedures. Results suggested that experience with the two-dimensional problems enabled children to adopt and subsequently transform their efficient 2-D odometer strategy (where one item is held constant) into the most sophisticated 3-D odometer strategy, which involved working simultaneously with two constant items. The study highlights the importance of discrete mathematics as a source of problem-solving activities in which children are motivated to create, modify, and extend their own theories.

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ID Code: 18047
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author.
ISBN: 9789087901486
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Sense Publishers
Deposited On: 07 Apr 2009 13:37
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 18:08

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