Value of written reflections in understanding student thinking: the case of incorrect simplification of a rational expression

Ruhl, Karen, Balatti, Jo, and Belward, Shaun (2011) Value of written reflections in understanding student thinking: the case of incorrect simplification of a rational expression. In: Proceedings of the 23rd biennial conference of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and the 34th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, pp. 667-675. From: AAMT-MERGA 2011 23rd biennial conference of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and the 34th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, 3-7 July 2011, Alice Springs, NT, Australia.

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Abstract

Encouraging students to articulate their thinking when doing mathematics is a means by which teachers ascertain understanding. Reported here are the results from a content analysis of the written reflections of 67 undergraduate students who incorrectly simplified a rational expression. Although asked to write about the thinking that led them to their solutions, most did not. Instead, they recounted what they had done or had not done. Of those who did write about their thinking, most wrote of their confusion or uncertainty; only a few provided a rationale for the procedures they used. Nevertheless, insights into student thinking were gleaned.

Item ID: 17951
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: written reflection, student errors
ISBN: 978-1-875900-69-5
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2012 07:07
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 50%
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