Title: Investigating teachers’ approaches towards mathematical problem solving and its relationship with individuals’ conceptions: A videobased study in sixth grade
Authors: Depaepe, Fien ×
De Corte, Erik
Verschaffel, Lieven #
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: University of Budapest
Host Document: 12th European Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction – Abstracts pages:218
Conference: European Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction edition:12 location:Budapest, Hungary date:August 2007
Abstract: During the last decades, a worldwide consensus grew that - instead of focusing on the acquisition of definitions, formulae and procedures - mathematics education should mainly aim at students’ understanding, mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills, attitudes and the disposition to use their skills in real-life situations. This reform movement was also influential in Flanders and
resulted in the formulation of new standards for primary mathematics education. Meanwhile, these reform-based ideas have led to a new generation of textbooks for mathematics education in Flanders. This study reports on a seven-month-long observational study in two sixth-grade classrooms in Flanders in which the same mathematical reform-based textbook Eurobasis is used. We investigated whether – and if so, how – teachers fostered in students a metacognitive approach towards applied mathematical problem solving. In line with the textbook, we focused on the explicit and implicit reference to the metacognitive strategy developed in a previous study by Verschaffel et al. (1999) consisting of five stages: (1) build a mental representation of the problem, (2) decide how to solve the problem, (3) execute the necessary calculations, (4) interpret the outcome and formulate the answer, and (5) evaluate the solution. By subjecting all students to an in-depth interview, we investigated how the instructional approach towards such a metacognitive strategy affects students’ perceptions and evaluations of the use of that strategy while solving
mathematical application problems. We observed differences in both teachers’ approaches towards mathematical problem solving: the first teacher used the tasks as a vehicle to meet higher order goals (i.e., (meta)cognitive skills), whereas the second teacher focused on students’ acquisition of the procedures to come to the right solution. Moreover, we found evidence for the impact of classroom practices on students’ individual conceptions concerning the value of a metacognitive approach towards mathematical application problems.
Description: 12
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Education and Training
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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