The effects of variable type and number structure on students' proportional and additive reasoning
Fernández, Ceneida Llinares, Salvador Van Dooren, Wim De Bock, Dirk Verschaffel, Lieven
Seminarie Centrum voor Instructiepsychologie en -technologie location:Leuven, Belgium date:7 November 2008
The concepts of proportion (‘an equivalence relationship between two ratios’) and proportional reasoning are fundamental in the math curriculum. Researchers have found that context (types of variables) and the numerical structure of the relationships between quantities influence the difficulty level of proportional problems and the strategies used by students to solve these problems. The aim of this research is to study the effect of these variables in both proportional and non-proportional (additive) problems. The central independent variables in this study are the context (whether the variables are discrete or continuous) and the number structure (integer ratios between given numbers or not). The central dependent variables are the performance and the types of strategies used to solve the problems. The first results from a study with large groups of 1st to 4th year secondary school students from different Spanish schools will be reported.