DEVELOPING MATHEMATICAL THINKING THROUGH EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES ON THE GEOBOARD
Palacký University in Olomouc (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Mathematics is an important part of the educational system. Learning mathematics is necessary for an individual´s full development in today´s complex society. However, we often encounter negative attitudes of pupils towards mathematics. Pupils often refer to not understanding mathematics, they consider that mathematics is too difficult for them. We believe that the beginning of these negative attitudes arises already at primary school. Pupils learn often mathematical subject matter without deeper understanding. Emphasis is placed on memorising and knowledge of algorithms. That is why we are interested in non-traditional learning enviroments which can develop pupils´ mathematical thinking. It means such educational enviroments which can contribute to changing negative pupils´ attitudes towards mathematics.
The paper sumarizes the partial results obtained in educational experiment GPME (Geoboard in Primary Mathematical Education) which was conducted with 3rd grade pupils of primary school. This experiment was focused on developing mathematical thinking through educational activities on the geoboard. The main research methods used were participating observation and semi-structured interview. The research was of a qualitative type. The level of pupils performance in mathematics and their gender were chosen as the independent variables. The success rate of the task solution was the depend variable. The experiment was based on five thematic lessons. The mathematical content involved following: a line segment, a line segment lenght, a quadriteral, a quadriteral area, a quadriteral perimeter, a triangle, a triangle area, a triangle perimeter.
There were three main research question:
• Do the geoboard activities have a motivational character for pupils?
• Do the geoboard activities contribute to divergent pupil thinking?
• Can weaker pupils master cognitive-intensive tasks in a geoboard enviroment?
All respondents participated together in the first lesson. The following lessons were conducted on the individual bases. The most interesting tasks will be presented in the paper.
All activities were accepted by the pupils with enthusiasm. Pupils required additional activities beyond the experiment. The pupils themselves invented new tasks. Weaker pupils needed more time but they did all the tasks successfully. Based on the results of the educational experiment, we assume that geoboard activities are a suitable activation complement to primary mathematics lessons.
Keywords: Geoboard, primary school, mathematics.