Elevers olika strategier vid problemlösning i matematik : En kvalitativ studie i årskurs 3

by Niclasson, Emma; Sandén, Sofia

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of the study was to discern which strategies pupils employ when they solvea mathematical problem. We carried through one observation and nine individualinterviews with pupils in school year 3. They were asked to solve a mathematicalproblem, which was observed. On the basis of the pupils’ solutions, we carried outinterviews in order to determine which strategies they chose to employ. The outcome ofthe pupils’ solutions showed several problem solving strategies. These were dividedinto external and internal representations. Strategies such as pictures, graphs andmathematical symbols (numerals) are external representations, as they consist ofconcrete pictures that the pupils must see in front of them on a paper when solvingmathematical problems. Mental arithmetic, automated knowledge and “thinking” are allstrategies that belong to internal modes of representation. With internal representations,we mean what happens inside our heads – what pupils need not see in front of them inorder to solve a problem. We found that the pupils’ solutions contained combinations ofseveral different strategies. Irrespective of which strategy or strategies the pupil choosein his or her problem solving, it is inevitable to use some variety of internalrepresentations; everyone has to think, regardless of the strategy chosen and theproblem solving skills of the pupil. When pupils are young, it may be difficult for themto present the flow of their problem solving processes in writing. Consequently, asteachers we must have time to familiarize ourselves with how the pupil thinks in orderto develop our teaching on the basis of the needs of the individual pupil.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Skövde

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:context rich problems problem solving strategies internal representations external mathematics mathematical


Date of Publication:01/31/2008

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