POSING MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS: ANALYSIS OF A TASK WITH FUTURE TEACHERS

Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Departamento de Matemática (PORTUGAL)

Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings

Publication year: 2021

Pages: 6120-6127

ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0

ISSN: 2340-1079

doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1230

Publication year: 2021

Pages: 6120-6127

ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0

ISSN: 2340-1079

doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1230

Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference

Dates: 8-9 March, 2021

Location: Online Conference

Dates: 8-9 March, 2021

Location: Online Conference

We teach future teachers of the elementary school (ages 6 to 10) and from the second cycle (ages 11 to 12) and we believe that “preservice teachers can be encouraged to develop their own capacity for posing problems, moving from posing single-step, traditional problems to more cognitively complex and open-ended problems, and developing richer understandings of what problems are ‘good’ problems” (Xu, et al. 2020).

Given the problem solving and the posing problems importance, the aim of this paper is to present the analysis of the errors and difficulties of the future teachers in a task of posing mathematical problems for the elementary school level.

The study involved 28 students attending the first-year course of “Logic and problem solving” from Basic Education graduation in a Northern Portuguese University. A task of mathematical problem posing is analyzed. The first question refers only to a mathematical basic operation, the multiplication, and students were asked to invent the context that the operation models, to formulate a problem that could be solved through the presented operation. In the second, the student had an image that illustrated a real-life context, and based in it they had to pose the mathematical problem intended for 1st or 2nd years students’ elementary school. After analyzing the results, we found that all the students were able to pose the problem for the first question. In this question, students revealed no difficulties in wording the problem, because they considered very easy to find a real situation that could be described by the presented mathematical expression. In the next question some of the students showed some difficulties in wording the problem because some of the wrote it and didn’t even mention the figure they were using. We also asked the students to write the difficulties they felt doing the task and the general opinion reflects the students’ sense that they still have a lot to learn in order to be able to write good mathematical problems and also problems suitable to the different mathematical school levels.

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