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Methodologies for investigating relationships between concept development and the development of problem solving abilities

English, Lyn D., Lesh, Richard, & Fennewald, Thomas (2008) Methodologies for investigating relationships between concept development and the development of problem solving abilities. In Santos, Manuel & Shimizu, Yoshi (Eds.) Proceedings of the 11th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Monterrey, Mexico.

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Abstract

This paper is the second in a pair that Lesh, English, and Fennewald will be presenting at ICME TSG 19 on Problem Solving in Mathematics Education. The first paper describes three shortcomings of past research on mathematical problem solving. The first shortcoming can be seen in the fact that knowledge has not accumulated – in fact it has atrophied significantly during the past decade. Unsuccessful theories continue to be recycled and embellished. One reason for this is that researchers generally have failed to develop research tools needed to reliably observe, document, and assess the development of concepts and abilities that they claim to be important. The second shortcoming is that existing theories and research have failed to make it clear how concept development (or the development of basic skills) is related to the development of problem solving abilities – especially when attention is shifted beyond word problems found in school to the kind of problems found outside of school, where the requisite skills and even the questions to be asked might not be known in advance. The third shortcoming has to do with inherent weaknesses in observational studies and teaching experiments – and the assumption that a single grand theory should be able to describe all of the conceptual systems, instructional systems, and assessment systems that strongly molded and shaped by the same theoretical perspectives that are being used to develop them. Therefore, this paper will describe theoretical perspectives and methodological tools that are proving to be effective to combat the preceding kinds or shortcomings. We refer to our theoretical framework as models & modeling perspectives (MMP) on problem solving (Lesh & Doerr, 2003), learning, and teaching. One of the main methodologies of MMP is called multi-tier design studies (MTD).

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ID Code: 28452
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: concept development, problem solving
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
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 2008 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2009 10:07
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 18:10

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