0 оценок0% нашли этот документ полезным (0 голосов)

2 просмотров23 страницыQuantitative Thinking!

Aug 27, 2020

Quantitative Thinking!

© © All Rights Reserved

Quantitative Thinking!

© All Rights Reserved

0 оценок0% нашли этот документ полезным (0 голосов)

2 просмотров23 страницыQuantitative Thinking!

Quantitative Thinking!

© All Rights Reserved

Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 23

html

Quantitative Thinking. In M. Reynolds (Ed.) Knowledge Base for the

Beginning Teacher - Special publication of the AACTE (pp. 221-231).

Oxford: Pergamon Press.

CHAPTER 19

Quantitative Thinking1

THOMAS R. POST

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

KATHLEEN A. CRAMER

University of Wisconsin, River Falls

interests, uses numerical, spatial, and analytic ideas in thinking about and

describing the real world. Therefore it is important for teachers - and

students - to understand how these ideas are (or should be) developed

and maintained and how to distinguish between bona fide numerical

concepts and the rote manipulation of symbols.

curricula that lacked development of deep mathematical structures,

concentrating instead on drill and practice and providing standard

answers to familiar questions. Fortunately, major advances are underway

in theory development and enlarging the scope of school mathematics.

Mathematics programs of the early 1990’s will not resemble those of even

five years earlier. Geometry, estimation, graphical interpretation,

computer literacy, calculator usage and probability and statistics are likely

to play a much more prominent role in the school mathematics program

of the future. Teachers, therefore, will not be able to teach the way they

have been taught, nor will they have a priori knowledge of all appropriate

content areas. Virtually all beginning teachers will need to acquire new

pedagogical skills as well as new mathematical understandings. This is a

formidable yet challenging task! This chapter outlines the nature of those

impending changes and suggests ways they can be implemented.

acquisition, use, and maintenance of quantitative thinking skills? To

answer this question it is important first to consider (a) how children

learn mathematics, and (b) what mathematics should be taught.

1 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

In the following sections we will examine both issues. We will explain the

importance of conceptual and procedural knowledge in teaching

quantitative understandings to children, and the role of representation in

the acquisition of mathematical concepts. We also will discuss current

thinking related to the question of what kinds of skills should be taught

and the present and future influences of technology on the scope,

sequencing, and presentation of mathematics curricula.

KNOWLEDGE

opposed to principle learning or understanding (Brownell, 1935; Bruner,

1960), concepts as opposed to procedures (Piaget, 1978), and "knowing

that" and "knowing how to" (Scheffler, 1965), have received a good deal

of attention and debate during the last century.

knowledge-concepts and procedures-as having diametrically opposed and

seemingly unrelated natures. Current discussions, however, have

emphasized the relationships between concepts and procedures. There is

growing recognition in the mathematics education research community of

the importance of the interaction between the two forms of knowledge

and the role each can play in the development and maintenance of the

other (Davis 1984; Davis & McKnight, 1980). Mathematics educators

generally agree that knowledge of concepts is the foundation for

intuitions and procedures and that a teacher should be concerned with

the development of both conceptual and procedural knowledge.

thought of as a connected web of knowledge, a network in which the

linking relationships are as important as the discrete pieces of

information. By definition, a piece of information is part of conceptual

knowledge only if the holder recognizes its relationship to other pieces of

information (Hiebert & Lefevre, 1986). When previously independent

pieces of information are organized and related to one another there is a

dramatic and significant cognitive reorganization (Lawler, 1981). Piaget

referred to this process as accommodation. It is through such reflective

mental activity that intellectual growth occurs.

level, understanding emanates from the ideas embedded within the

context in which they are presented, that is, context-specific

understanding. On the second level, relationships are understood in a

"context free" environment where appropriate abstractions have been

made. This latter level is the sine qua non of the professional

mathematician, but too often ignored or unrecognized at the school level.

2 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

knowledge of the formal language of mathematics, that is, symbols and

syntax; and the rules, algorithms, or procedures used to solve

mathematical tasks (Hiebert & Lefevre, 1986). The former implies only an

awareness of superficial features, not a knowledge of meaning or

underlying structure; the latter consists of step-by-step instructions that

define precisely how to complete mathematical tasks or exercises in a

predetermined linear sequence. The rules lend themselves to mechanical

reproduction and can be implemented without conceptual understanding,

although this is not necessarily the case. In contrast, conceptual

knowledge must always be learned meaningfully.

with developing procedural knowledge in the form of speed and accuracy

in using computational algorithms rather than the development of higher

order thought processes, such as those used in problem solving,

deductive reasoning, and logical inference. This is true throughout the

elementary, junior high, and senior high school levels. For example, at

the elementary level, students are found practicing the long division

algorithm, while at higher levels they spend considerable time on the rote

manipulation of algebraic sentences or on solving quadratic equations. In

short, procedural knowledge dominates school mathematics curricula at

virtually all levels.

Mathematics, commented on phenomenon. "It struck me as supremely

ironic that at the very time we are on the threshold of teaching machines

to reason, we are spending an inordinate amount of our educational

energies teaching our children mechanistic skills" (Hill, 1979, p. 2).

Unfortunately, things have not changed very much. A 1987 survey (Post

& Orton, 1987) of elementary and junior high school teachers in a

Minneapolis school district indicated that slightly over 50% of

mathematics instructional time is spent developing speed and accuracy in

paper and pencil calculations. Another 16% is spent on textbook word

problems. Thus 2/3 of students' time is spent dealing with text-related

activities. Yet it is generally agreed that concepts initially evolve through

interaction with the environment, not with the printed page. Since

Minneapolis is considered one of the nation’s more progressive urban

educational systems, the percentage of time spent on procedural

knowledge might be even higher in the nation's schools as a whole.

Here are a few examples showing how concept knowledge and procedural

knowledge differ:

multiplication facts, but has difficulty reconstructing a fact when

memory fails.

rewritten as 9 + (1 + 3), or (9 + 1) + 3, or 10 + 3 = 13. This type

3 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

multidigit ones, such as 27 + 36 = 27 + (3 + 33) = (27 + 3) + 33 =

63. Likewise: 7 x 6 can be interpreted (6 x 6) + 6 = 42. These are

instances of concept knowledge since they focus on the relationships

between the numbers and the arithmetical operations.

invert and multiply procedure: 1/2 + 2/3 = 1/2 x 3/2 = 3/4. This is

not usually a meaningful activity because most individuals (adults

included) use the procedure without understanding it.

complex procedure requires basic understanding of the relationships

between division, multiplication, the notion of inverse, a thorough

understanding of fractions, and the ability to interpret the magnitude

of the result in terms of the original situation (i.e., since 2/3 is

greater than 1/2, the quotient should less than 1). The depth of

understanding needed suggests that this skill should be delayed until

greater knowledge has been acquired. The fact that the invert and

multiply procedure is so easily accomplished does not justify its

inclusion in the curriculum.

result be closer to 1,2, 19, or 21? This problem appeared in a recent

version of the National Assessment for Educational Progress (Post,

1981). Only 23% of the nation's 13-year-olds selected the correct

answer. Over half (55%) thought the answer was 19 or 21, the

result of adding numerators or denominators. Such answers indicate

complete misunderstanding of the concept.

would be, "7/8 is about 1, and 12/13 is about 1, therefore their sum

is about 2." Instead of using this commonsense approach based on

conceptual knowledge, the majority of students tried a procedure

(probably from memory) to find a solution.

doubt can be found in other disciplines as well. Sometimes the interplay

between them is subtle. At other times it is quite overt. For our purposes

it is enough to be aware of the issue and the educational implications of

requiring students to process and retain significant amounts of

information which is not conceptually based. Procedural knowledge can be

learned and applied without the appropriate conceptual underpinnings.

Under such conditions, higher order thought processes (which may

deviate from learned procedures or require the application or extension of

learned ideas) are highly improbable.

Mathematics requires the execution of a wide variety of procedures.

Ideally these procedures are derived from fundamental conceptual

4 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

increases the potential for intellectual growth.

degree and extent to which conceptual knowledge is reinterpreted as

procedural knowledge. That is, the degree to which the individual has

enlarged the nature and scope of the mathematical situations which can

be reacted to in a comfortable and routine fashion. The danger, of course,

lies in premature abstraction and the mindless manipulation of symbols

without the appropriate conceptual underpinnings.

such there must be a correspondence between some aspects of the

represented world and some aspects of the representing world. The

abstract relationships or mapping between these two can be thought of as

applied mathematical structures. They are useful in the discipline at all

levels and also form the essence of mathematical conceptual

development in school-aged children. This relationship is illustrated in

Figure 19.1.

between the real world and the mathematical world. Formulae, tables,

5 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

mathematical "objects" used to represent various real world ideas and

relationships. At a more advanced stage these "objects" themselves can

be represented by formulae, tables, and so forth. That is, mathematical

concepts can be viewed as tools to help with understanding new

situations and problems and also as objects that can be investigated in

their own right. Translations within and between these "objects"

constitute the essence of mathematical activity.

Questions about the nature of knowledge, the nature of one who knows

(or the one who learns), the "transmitability" (or lack thereof) of

knowledge and conditions under which learning most effectively occurs

have persisted since 500 B.C. A problem results from a view of knowledge

which requires a match between the cognitive structures themselves and

what those structures are supposed to represent. The difficulty here is

that it is never possible to determine how well our (or others') mental

structures represent what they are intended to represent, for such

assessment "lies forever on the other side of our experimental interface"

(Von Glaserfeld, 1987). Since we can never step outside of ourselves and

achieve a truly objective perspective, a different view of what it is "to

know" is required, one which is not based on a correspondence with

reality.

Such a view was stated by Osiander in 1627 in his retort to the critics of

Copernicus' revolutionary idea that the Earth was not the center of the

universe. He said, "There is no need for these hypotheses to be true, or

even to be at all like the truth; rather one thing is sufficient for them -

that they yield calculations which agree with the observations" (Popper,

1968).

This second conception of knowledge, one that fits our observations, has

profound implications for education and instruction and for the

organization of experience. Piaget (1952) characterized this situation as

follows: "Intelligence organizes the world by organizing itself." Thus, an

individual's experiences and their subsequent reorganization become the

beginning, middle, and end points of conceptual development and the

concomitant evolution of intelligent action.

But how can one directly experience a number which is, by its very

nature, an abstraction? The answer is that one cannot, but it is possible

to experience representations of it. Representation is, therefore, a crucial

component in the development of mathematical understanding and

quantitative thinking. Without it, mathematics would be totally abstract,

largely philosophical, and probably inaccessible to the majority of the

populace. With it, mathematical ideas can be modeled, important

relationships explicated, and understandings fostered through a careful

construction and sequencing of appropriate experiences and observations.

It is currently held that it is the translation between different

representations of mathematical ideas, and the translations between

common experience and the abstract symbolic representation of those

6 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

and symbolic-for modeling mathematical ideas for children. Intuitively

these modes suggest a linear temporal ordering: first, enactive; second,

iconic (pictures); and last, symbols. This logic has been so persuasive

that several decades of mathematics textbooks have sequenced their

content with conscious or unconscious adherence to this model.

Unfortunately, this issue is more complex than Bruner implies, and almost

surely involves nonlinearity and requires additional modes. Lesh (1979)

suggested adding two additional modes, spoken language and real world

problem situations. Most importantly, he stressed the interactive nature

of these various types of representations, that is, often several modes will

exist concurrently in a problem solving setting and individuals will

routinely re-employ a variety of representations and sequences of

representation as they reorganize problem components and

interrelationships between them. Figure 19.2 illustrates Lesh's model.

representation.

The Rational Number Project (Post, Behr, Lesh, & Wachsmuth, 1985), in a

series of research projects supported by the National Science Foundation,

has, over the past decade, utilized this framework in the development of

its own theory-based instructional units. This project corroborated the

interactive nature of student approaches and has found the use of

7 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

acquisition of various rational number concepts (fraction, part-whole

ideas, ratio, decimal, operator, a measurement interpretations).

For example, the concept of adding fractions can taught using several

translations. A translation from written symbol to manipulative mode can

be shown by asking a child to model the sum 1/2 + 1/4 with manipulative

materials, such as fraction circles. Similarly, using the illustration shown

in Figure 19.3, translation from pictorial mode to written symbols can be

achieved by asking the child to write a number sentence for each step in

the addition problem (1/2 + 1/4; 1/2 = 2/4; 2/4 + 1/4 = 3/4).

student is given a manipulative display showing, for example, fraction

circles, and ask to model the same idea with fraction bars, as shown

Figure 19.4. Such translations cannot be made unless the person

understands the concept under consideration as presented in the original

mode. Further, such translations require the reinterpretation (or

reorganization to use Piaget's term) of the concept in order to display it in

another mode or with another material in the same mode. Such

understandings and reinterpretations are important cognitive processes

and are to be encouraged in the teaching/learning process. It is for this

reason that the Lesh model is such a powerful tool for the classroom

teacher. While good teachers probably have been inadvertently using

aspects of these ideas in their interactions with children, the model makes

explicit what has been implicit up to this point. In general, it is the

translations within and between modes of representation that make ideas

meaningful for children. Such a view promotes a dynamic rather than a

static view of mathematical conceptual development. In addition, it

promotes recognition of appropriate patterns, identification of similarities,

recognizing and sorting crucial and noncrucial variables, and ultimately

encourages applying new ideas to traditional methods.

8 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

quantitative thinking, but can be applied as well to instruction in other

content domains, notably the natural and social sciences. For example,

the ability to understand and interpret ratios and rates is essential. In

both natural and social science domains. Concepts such as speed, density,

mixture, voltage, exchange rates, percentages, force, solubility,

acceleration, concentration, unit costs, pricing, productivity, supply and

demand, income distribution, GNP, unemployment, and inflation are all

expressed as rates; students, when encountering these concepts in other

disciplines, should focus on the similarities and differences of their

meaning and interpretation, for it is the realization of their similarities

which will foster the evolution of more encompassing cognitive schemas

(Kaput, 1987). Such reorganizations are at the core of intellectual

development (Piaget, 1952, 1960).

relatively low levels of student achievement in mathematics along with

concern about the overall quality of mathematics instruction. The

Cockcroft Report published in 1982 revolutionized mathematics

instruction in the United Kingdom. Its major recommendations are

relevant to mathematics instruction everywhere. The report suggested

initially that mathematics instruction at all levels should include

exposition by the teacher. The study revealed that in classes where

instruction is strongly guided by the textbook, most of the students' time

is spent in independent seatwork. Too often students do not benefit from

the teacher's insights relating to the content. More of the teacher's time

needs to be spent teaching mathematics, during which time students and

teacher should be involved in verbal exchanges about the subject.

9 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

The report also stresses the need for practical, "hands on" activities to

develop mathematical concepts before emphasizing the practice of skills

and procedures. Instruction that includes problem solving, applications,

and an interdisciplinary approach to mathematics instruction was also

recommended.

schools' mathematics programs. There is a great deal of similarity

between the Cockcroft Report and the mathematics reform movement in

this country.

expanding technological society has been the major concern of

mathematics and supervisors since the mid-1970s. Those concerned have

organized to counter the influence of the "back to basics" movement of

the 1970s. The back-to-basics group suggested that the skills needed by

children in the 20th century are in fact the same skills that were needed

by children in the 19th century. Textbook companies responded by

producing books devoted primarily to developing computational skill with

paper and pencil and emphasizing speed and accuracy in addition,

subtraction, multiplication, and division with whole numbers, decimals,

and fractions.

For the schools to emphasize facility with paper and pencil computation at

the expense of higher level cognitive processes at a time when calculators

and computers are commonplace tools in the adult world is reactionary.

To emphasize computation when international studies show that American

children rank in the lower half of nearly every mathematics category

compared to children in other leading industrial nations is unacceptable.

For example, in the Second International Mathematics Study

(International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement

[IEA], 1984), eighth grade children in the United States ranked below

students in Japan and Canada in every category assessed. In

measurement and geometry, U.S. children scored in the bottom quarter

of 20 developed countries. In a more recent international study

comparing performance of children in comparable cities in Minnesota,

Japan, and China, the highest average score of an American fifth grade

class assessed was below the average score of the lowest Japanese fifth

grade class assessed (Stevenson, Shin-Ling, & Stigler, 1986).

upgrade the quality of mathematics instruction, clarify goals, and

promote change, issued a report in 1987 entitled The Standards for

School Mathematics. The report specifies five basic goals for all students:

(a) to become a mathematical problem solver, (b) to learn to

communicate mathematically, (c) to learn to reason mathematically, (d)

to learn to value mathematics, and (e) to acquire confidence in his or her

ability to do mathematics. A new teacher should be aware of the changes

that educators hope will occur as a result of the Standards (Commission

on Standards for School Mathematics of the National Council of Teachers

10 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

of Mathematics, 1987).

published a position paper presenting a new definition of basic skills. The

position paper emphasizes strongly that all students who hope to

participate successfully in adult society must be knowledgeable in these

domains (NCSM, 1977). This paper was supported by all national and

state mathematics teachers' organizations. Current textbooks are only

beginning to reflect this expanded view of what it means to be

mathematically literate. It is important that all teachers understand the

thrust of viable mathematics programs and that computational ability is

no longer the sole indicator of the mathematically literate individual. The

skills considered essential by the NCSM to further educational

opportunities are: (a) problem solving; (b) applying mathematics to

everyday situations; (c) alertness to reasonableness of result; (d)

estimation and approximation; (e) appropriate computation skills; (f)

geometry; (g) measurement; (h) reading, interpreting and constructing

tables, charts, and graphs; (i) using mathematics to predict, and (j)

computer literacy (NCSM, 1977).

mathematical skills.

the light of the contributions they make to one's ability to use

mathematics in everyday living. In isolation, computational

skills contribute little to one's ability to participate in

mainstream society. (NCSM, 1977, p.1)

The NCSM (1988) has recently updated the list of basic skills. The new

position paper lists 12 critical areas of mathematical competence for all

students. Problem solving, applying mathematics to everyday situations,

alertness to reasonableness of results, estimation, geometry, and

measurement will be reaffirmed as basic skills. Five new categories are:

(a) mathematical reasoning (b) communicating mathematical ideas, (c)

algebraic thinking, (d) statistics, and (e) probability. The spirit the earlier

report remains intact. Additional positions relating to instruction include

the following:

developed from concrete experiences. Learning environment

should incorporate high expectations for all students regardless

of sex, race or socioeconomic status.

during instruction and testing.

reflect updated program objectives. (NCSM, 1988, pp. 3-5)

11 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

QUANTITATIVE THINKING

thinking quantitatively about numbers also assumes an expanded

definition. Quantitative thinking involves the following:

work with powers of 10; ability to use number relationships and

properties to facilitate mental computations.

use mathematics relationships; ability to monitor one's performance

when computing, as example, judging reasonableness of answer

with respect to an applied problem or by what one knows about

numbers.

without recording devices.

What is meant by mental arithmetic skills? Here are two examples. The

first is taken from Hope's article in the 1986 Yearbook of the NCTM.

Consider the problem 99 x 8. An unskilled mental calculator will be tied

into the tedious paper and pencil algorithm to find the answer: Nine times

eight is 72. Record the two and carry the seven. Nine times eight is 72

plus seven is 79. The answer is 792. A skilled mental calculator sees 99 x

8 as one group of eight less than 100 x 8. Eight hundred minus eight is

792. A skilled mental calculator could compute 25 x 480 simply by using

the number relationship: 25 = 100/4. Instead of calculating with paper

and pencil, the problem computes mentally as 100 x 480 = 48000/4 =

12000. There are other types of calculations, and with practice, children

can learn and develop their own techniques. Flexibility is key. Note in the

examples above that the focus is on the relationships between the

numbers, described previously as conceptual knowledge.

Research has shown that children who are quick to learn the basic

arithmetic facts create efficient mental strategies for obtaining answers.

For example, a child's thought process behind 8 + 7 might be: "I know 8

+ 8 is 16 so 8 + 7 must be one less, 15." A quick way to find the product

of 8 and 7 involves this type of thinking: "4 x 7 = 28; I have twice as

many groups of 7 so 8 x 7 is 28 + 28."

are the results from two examples from the Third National Assessment

(Lindquist, Carpenter, Silver, & Mathews, 1983). The first deals with a

decimal estimation problem given to 13-year-olds. Students were not

given enough time to calculate the answer with paper and pencil.

12 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

Percentage choosing

response

1) 1.6 28%

*2) 16 21%

3) 160 18%

4) 1600 23%

5) I don't know 9%

Students could not see that 3.04 is about 3, 5.3 is about 5, and their

product is about 15. The only reasonable answer was 16. It is important

to note that on a similar computation item when students were given

time to compute, 57% arrived at the correct answer. Procedural

knowledge does not add to students' number sense. Only conceptual

knowledge can.

was given to 13-year-olds. Students could use a calculator.

bussed to their training site, how many buses are needed?

Percentage responding

*1) 32 7%

2) 31.33; 311/3 etc. 16%

3) 25%

4) wrong operation 20%

5) no answer 32%

lack of common sense. A calculator in the hands of students without

number sense is no help. Most students could not determine what

operation to choose. Forty-one percent of those who were able to choose

the correct operation did not know how to use the results with respect to

the constraints posed by the problem.

lives. If one listed the types of computation done in the course of an

average day, the times when an estimate is sufficient will greatly exceed

the number of times when an exact answer is required. This is true in all

subject areas and in and out of school. When an exact answer is needed,

a calculator is used for its speed and accuracy, not a paper and pencil

calculation. Research has shown that good estimators have several

common characteristics (Reys, Bestgen, Rybolt, & Wyatt, 1982). They are

13 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

rely on mental computations, not recording devices. They have a

tolerance for error and are comfortable with estimates. They have

developed strategies for estimating not normally taught in school and

their use of a particular strategy depends on the numbers in the problem.

(In other words, they are flexible.) Other common characteristics include:

quick and accurate fact recall; understanding of place value; skill with

multiples of 10; insisting on compensating their original estimate.

1982):

347 to 350, 43 to 42. I cancel 6 and 42 which gives 350/7 or

50." or

347/43 is below 9. So I'll take off some. That leaves… I'll say

50."

among 26 NFL teams. About how much does each team get? -

"I rounded to 26 million divided by 26 which is 1 million each, It

has to be less because of my rounding procedure, say 850,000

each."

reason about number relationships without numbers. For example, in the

last example the student understood that by increasing the dividend in a

division problem (keeping the divisor constant), the size of the answer

increases (given a/b = c; if a is increased, then c increases). Other

examples of this type of knowledge are:

Adding two positive numbers yields a quantity larger than either added.

(1/2 + 1/3 cannot equal 2/5 because 2/5 is less than 1/2, one of my

original addends.) Dividing by a whole number yields a quantity less than

the dividend, but division by an amount less than 1 yields a larger

quantity.

increases; if b is increased the size of the fraction decreases; if both are

increased, change in the fraction value cannot be determined.

INFLUENCES OF TECHNOLOGY

mathematics usage in two major ways. First, technology raises the

question, "How should the mathematics curriculum be changed given the

availability of calculators and computers?" Our answer to this question

14 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

and accuracy in paper and pencil algorithms and emphasize development

of a wider range of mathematics competencies such as those listed in the

NCSM report (NCSM, 1988). Since the elementary program emphasizes

the development of computational proficiency, the use of calculators

should have a greater impact on change in the elementary schools than in

the secondary schools. (In fact, calculators are accepted more by

secondary teachers than elementary teachers, probably because they

have less effect on what they teach.) It follows that calculators should be

used in other disciplines as well.

about the algorithmic aspect found in the secondary curriculum (Fey,

1984). Computer software programs are currently available to do much of

the symbolic manipulation which continues to constitute a major portion

of the mathematical time in classes from algebra to first-year calculus.

MuMath, TK!Solver, and the Geometric Supposer are three software

programs that have an interactive rather than a tutorial format (Sunburst,

1987). At the time of this writing it is possible to purchase a calculator for

about $60 that will graph all of the types of equations encountered in

secondary school. Likewise, a geometry proof checker will evaluate the

adequacy of a student's logic when doing two-column geometric proofs.

How can these advances fail to have an impact on the curricula?

The second question raised by this technology is, "How should the way

mathematics is taught be changed, given the availability of calculators

and computers?" The NCTM recommends that mathematics programs

take full advantage of the power of calculators and computers at all grade

levels (NCTM, 1980). Using calculators in problem-solving situations

allows all students to participate in vastly expanded types of activities.

Lack of computational ability need not separate students into those who

work on low level skills and those who have the opportunity to work on

higher level activities. Tedious calculations need not limit the type of

problems students are given. Applied problems with real data need not be

avoided since the calculator can do the messy work. Using calculators in

problem-solving situations is not limited to the mathematics classroom.

Data collected in science experiments, and making predictions or

understanding trends in the social sciences can all be processed with

calculators.

Calculators are not just for number crunching; calculators also can be

used to develop new mathematics concepts and to reinforce previously

learned concepts. Below are three activities which use a calculator to

reinforce and extend a basic concept. The first deals with place value, the

second productivity, and the third relates to conservation of natural

resources.

1. Enter 6,425 on your calculator using only the numbers 1000, 100,

10, 1 and + , = keys.

15 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

productivity (productivity = output/input) when the output increases

and the input remains stable or vice versa; or even more interesting,

when both increase or both decrease. Students can quickly generate

large numbers of examples. These can form the basis important

generalizations.

resources might choose to determine the number or amount of

paper products used by the school or community in one year. While

data collected would be too tedious to work with by hand, calculators

would allow processing to take place with greater ease. Discussion

could then focus on ways to conserve and extend these resources

rather than on the more mundane calculations.

and practice for skill learning, simulations for problem solving, and

student programming (Shumway, 1988). Teachers should avoid using

computers or calculators to train children to do tasks better done by the

computer or calculator in the first place. Computers should be used for

doing what they do uniquely well and not for duplicating what can be

done just as well in other ways. For example, using a drill and practice

computer program to practice multiplication problems is inappropriate.

First, a worksheet would do just as well; second, increasing speed and

accuracy in that skill is a questionable goal. Similarly, calculators should

not be used to check the answer to a long division problem solved with

paper and pencil. The student should do the problem on the calculator

originally.

basic facts and reinforcement of other mental arithmetic skills continue to

be appropriate in the mathematics classroom and can be handled with

the use of existing software. Other drill and practice programs are

appropriate for spelling, typing, and certain areas where rote

memorization is necessary and appropriate, such as learning states,

capitals, or presidents. Software manufacturers are beginning to produce

materials which emphasize conceptual rather than procedural domains.

This is a welcome addition. As more of these higher quality programs find

their way into the school curricula, computers will become increasingly

important.

Software programs have been created that present problems and monitor

student performance. These allow both teacher and students to keep

track of progress. Drill and practice programs do not teach new skills;

they simply provide opportunity for the practice of learned skills.

be simulated by a computer. Teachers can write their own simulation

programs or use a wide range of commercial programs. For example, a

teacher, without too much difficulty, can write a program to simulate

16 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

collect data for a lesson on probability and statistics. The computer

graphic capabilities provide a unique opportunity to explore problems in

geometry and algebra. The Geometric Supposer and Presupposer allow

students to explore informally many ideas in geometry. This can lead to

conjectured theorems that eventually will be formally proved. Other

software packages are available for learning strategies for solving

problems. How many diagonals in a 100-sided figure? A software program

helps students solve this problem by drawing 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, or up to

10-sided figures and their corresponding diagonals one at a time.

Students use this program to collect data to build a table and look for

number patterns.

teacher planning a unit on settling the West in the early and middle 19th

century might use the "Oregon Trail," software which counterbalances the

many decisions faced by the early pioneers and the consequences of

those decisions in terms of conserving limited resources, protecting

personal health and safety, and eliminating or limiting other costly errors

in judgment or data-based decision making.

and secondary schools. Teachers can learn to program the computer to

help children explore a variety of mathematical ideas, such as counting,

multiples, and prime numbers (Shumway, 1987). Students also can learn

to do the programming. Two commonly used languages are LOGO and

BASIC. Advocates suggest that computer programming by students

teaches concept learning and problem solving.

packages are available to evaluate tests and to give teachers detailed

printouts of student achievement. Such information can also provide

longitudinally oriented feedback to students and teachers. This can be

useful in grouping for instruction.

mathematics is taught or how it is delivered. However, mathematics

educators will continue to push for change in schools in these directions.

Conclusion

Phrased more positively, there is ample room for improvement in the

nation's mathematics classrooms. The latter version, however, fails to

communicate the seriousness of the problem. International comparisons

of the U.S. and leading industrial nations consistently rank this country in

the lower half in nearly every major mathematical category. Major

differences in achievement patterns have caused much concern and have

stimulated a series of major reports (National Commission on Excellence,

17 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

the time of this writing, talk continues, and though followed by relatively

little action, the horizon looks brighter.

During the past two decades enormous changes have occurred in the

scope and depth of the research in mathematics education. New

organizations, steady (although insufficient) federal funding, and the

evolution of the concept of cooperative research has appreciably

improved the extent to which we understand how students learn

mathematical and quantitative ideas. Large-scale and long-term projects

have emerged dealing with how children learn early number concepts,

geometry, and rational number concepts (fraction, ratio, decimal); how

children develop concepts of multiplication and division and learn

estimation strategies and processes; the influence of sex-related variables

on mathematics performance; the impact of calculators and computers;

and other aspects of thinking and concept development. There is still

much that is not fully understood, but real progress has been made.

Schools have not kept abreast of such progress. In fact, mathematics

curricula and methods have not changed very much at all in the last 20

years. Paper and pencil calculations and text-related worksheets still

dominate in the mathematics classroom.

available for research and the federal government is once again becoming

involved in large-scale curriculum development. This is true for science as

well as for mathematics. As these changes slowly infiltrate school

curricula, new and higher achievement levels ideally will become

commonplace among our students. Ideas similar to those expressed here

will provide a conceptual framework for those efforts.

only for the mathematics teacher and classroom but for all teachers of all

school subjects. An understanding of the world in which we live cannot

progress very far unless quantitative issues are addressed. How many?

How far? How much? How has it changed? Can you predict? What would

happen if? These are questions which are found in all subject domains.

The answers to these and numerous other inquiries require serious

consideration of the quantitative aspects of the phenomena.

University of Illinois-Chicago; Perry Lanier, Michigan State University; and

Dick Lesh, WYCAT Systems. Each made valuable suggestions, but the

final version is totally the product and responsibility of the authors.

AACTE expresses appreciation to all the individuals who contributed to

this chapter.

(top)

18 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

References

teaching of arithmetic. In The teaching of arithmetic. Tenth yearbook of

the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. New York: Teachers

College, Columbia University.

Norton.

Charles, R., & Lester, F. (1982). Teaching problem solving: What, why and

how. Palo Alto, CA: Dale Seymour Publications.

Commission of Inquiry into the Teaching of Mathematics in Schools under

the chairmanship of Dr. W. H. Cockcroft. London: Her Majesty's

Stationery Office.

of Teachers of Mathematics (1987). Curriculum and evaluation standards

for school mathematics (Working Draft). Reston, VA: The National Council

of Teachers of Mathematics.

approach to mathematics education. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

algorithmic behavior. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 3 (1), 39-87.

secondary school curricula. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of

Mathematics.

(4th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

of mathematics. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

mathematics: An introductory analysis. In J. Hiebert (Ed.), The case of

mathematics. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Hill, S. (1979, March). The basics in mathematics: More than the third R.

Newsletter: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, I5 (3), 4.

Schoen (Ed.), Estimation and mental computation: 1986 yearbook (pp.

45-54). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

19 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

University of Illinois, National Coordinating Center.

learning of mathematics. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

(Ed.), The teaching and learning of mathematics (pp. 19-26). Hillsdale,

NJ: Erlbaum.

Science, 5, 1-30.

identification, diagnosis, and remediation. In R. Lesh, D. Mierkiewicz, &

M. G. Kantowski (Eds.), Applied mathematical problem solving (pp.

111-180). Columbus, OH: ERIC/SMEAR.

concepts and processes. New York: Academic Press.

Lindquist, M. L., Carpenter, T. P., Silver, E. A., & Mathews W. (1983). The

third national mathematics assessment: Results and implications for

elementary and middle school. Arithmetic Teacher, 31 (4), 14-19.

The imperatives for educational reform (GPO #065-000-001772-2).

Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

paper on basic mathematical skills. Arithmetic Teacher, 25 (2), 18-21.

mathematics for the 21st century: The position of the National Council of

Supervisors of Mathematics. Paper presented at the annual meeting of

the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Chicago, IL.

action: Recommendations for school mathematics of the 1980s. Reston,

VA: Author.

New York: Basic Books.

Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Adams.

University Press.

20 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

Torchbooks.

Assessment. Arithmetic Teacher, 28 (9), 26-31.

Research-based methods. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Post, T. R., Behr, M., Lesh, R., & Wachsmuth, I. (1985) Selected results

from the Rational Number Project. Proceedings of the Ninth Psychology of

Mathematics Education Conference (pp. 342-351). Antwerp, The

Netherlands: International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics

Education.

Minneapolis Public Schools (Internal Technical Report). Minneapolis:

Individualized Management System Project.

Reys, R., Bestgen, B., Rybolt, J., & Wyatt, J. W. (1982) Processes used by

good computational estimators. Journal for Research in Mathematics

Education, 13 (3), 103-201.

Reys, R., Suydam, M., & Lindquist, M. (1984). Helping children learn

mathematics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

epistemology and education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

yearbook. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Teaching mathematics in grades K-8: Research- based methods. Boston:

Allyn & Bacon.

achievement of Chinese, Japanese, and American children. Science,

231,693-698.

Pleasantville, NY: Sunburst.

Macmillan.

Janvier (Ed.), Problems of representation in the teaching and learning of

mathematics (pp. 3-17). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

21 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

Annotated Bibliography

Charles, R., & Lester, F. (1982). Teaching problem solving: What, why and

how. Palo Alto, CA: Dale Seymour Publications. This very readable booklet

addresses issues associated with mathematical problem solving,

specifica1ly, why problem solving is important and how to integrate

problem solving into the mathematics program. Ideas come directly from

experiences with teachers and children at several grade levels.

of mathematics. Hi1lsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. This reference for researchers

contains 10 chapters dealing with current thinking on this very important

topic. The authors represent a cross-section of influential mathematics

evaluators who discuss the basic procedural/conceptual issue from a

number of perspectives and from the vantage point of a number of

mathematical topics.

learning of mathematics. Hi1lsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. This reference for

researchers is part of a series of edited publications designed to update

the research community on developments in important areas relating to

mathematics education and in areas where important research has been

and is being conducted, including studies in representation.

concepts and processes. New York: Academic Press. This edited book

presents some of the more promising and productive research in

mathematics learning and problem solving.

New York: Basic Books. This book presents the author's vision of

computers in education. He describes how education can be changed by

incorporating his computer language LOGO into the curriculum. Papert's

view of the future has created important debates on the nature and

importance of mathematics in school curricula.

Research-based methods. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Each chapter in

this mathematics methods book is written by nationally or internationally

recognized leaders in the field discussed. Ideas and activities presented

are based on the most current research developments. Topics include the

nature of mathematics learning; problem solving; measurement;

operations with whole numbers; rational numbers; geometry; estimation;

ratio and proportion; calculators and computers; gender issues; and

evaluation.

Reys, R., Suydam, M., & Lindquist, M. (1984). Helping children learn

mathematics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. A methods book for

teachers of elementary school mathematics. The first section provides

information on the changing mathematics curriculum and how children

learn mathematics. The second section discusses strategies and teaching

22 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

CHAPTER 19 http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/rationalnumberproject/89_8.html

operations, measurement, fractions, decimals, ratio, proportion and

percent, estimation, and geometry.

yearbook. Reston, V A: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Each

year the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics publishes a

yearbook addressing a timely topic related to the contemporary

mathematics curriculum. The topic in 1986 was estimation. Articles

provide specific classroom activities on such topics as computational

estimation, estimation in measurement, estimating fractions, estimating

decimal products, and using money to develop estimation skills with

decimals.

(top)

23 of 23 15-01-2017 22:07

## Гораздо больше, чем просто документы.

Откройте для себя все, что может предложить Scribd, включая книги и аудиокниги от крупных издательств.

Отменить можно в любой момент.