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The Effect of Area Measurement Tools on Student Strategies: The Role of a Computer Microworld

The Effect of Area Measurement Tools on Student Strategies: The Role of a Computer Microworld This study focuses on the role of tools, provided by a computer microworld (C.AR.ME), on the strategies developed by 14-year-old students for the area measurement of a non-convex polygon. Students' strategies on a transformation and a comparison task were interpreted and classified into categories in terms of the tools used for their development. The analysis of the data shows that an environment providing the students with the opportunity to select various tools and asking them to produce solutions `in any possible way' can stimulate them to construct a plurality of solution strategies. The students selected tools appropriate for their cognitive development and expressed their own individual approaches regarding the concept of area measurement. The nature of tools used affected the nature of solution strategies that the students constructed. Moreover, all students were involved in the tasks and succeeded in completing them with more than one correct solution strategy thereby developing a broader view of the concept, although not all of them realized the same strategies. Three different approaches to area measurement emerged from the strategies which were constructed by the students in this microworld: automatic area measurement, provided by the environment, the operation of area measurement using spatial units and the use of area formulae. Almost all the students experienced qualitative aspects of area measurement through being involved in the process of covering areas using spatial units. Students also managed to use the area formulae meaningfully by studying it in relation to automatic area measurement and to area measurement using spatial units. Through these strategies, the concepts of conservation of area and its measurement as well as area formulae were viewed by the students as interrelated. Finally, some basic difficulties regarding area measurement were overcome in this computer environment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Technology, Knowledge and Learning" Springer Journals

The Effect of Area Measurement Tools on Student Strategies: The Role of a Computer Microworld

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Education; Learning and Instruction; Mathematics Education; Educational Technology; Science Education; Creativity and Arts Education
ISSN
2211-1662
eISSN
1573-1766
DOI
10.1023/A:1016051411284
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study focuses on the role of tools, provided by a computer microworld (C.AR.ME), on the strategies developed by 14-year-old students for the area measurement of a non-convex polygon. Students' strategies on a transformation and a comparison task were interpreted and classified into categories in terms of the tools used for their development. The analysis of the data shows that an environment providing the students with the opportunity to select various tools and asking them to produce solutions `in any possible way' can stimulate them to construct a plurality of solution strategies. The students selected tools appropriate for their cognitive development and expressed their own individual approaches regarding the concept of area measurement. The nature of tools used affected the nature of solution strategies that the students constructed. Moreover, all students were involved in the tasks and succeeded in completing them with more than one correct solution strategy thereby developing a broader view of the concept, although not all of them realized the same strategies. Three different approaches to area measurement emerged from the strategies which were constructed by the students in this microworld: automatic area measurement, provided by the environment, the operation of area measurement using spatial units and the use of area formulae. Almost all the students experienced qualitative aspects of area measurement through being involved in the process of covering areas using spatial units. Students also managed to use the area formulae meaningfully by studying it in relation to automatic area measurement and to area measurement using spatial units. Through these strategies, the concepts of conservation of area and its measurement as well as area formulae were viewed by the students as interrelated. Finally, some basic difficulties regarding area measurement were overcome in this computer environment.

Journal

"Technology, Knowledge and Learning"Springer Journals

Published: Oct 12, 2004

References