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Symbols and the bifurcation between procedural and conceptual thinking

Tall, David and Gray, Eddie and Ali, Maselan @ Mazlan and Crowley, Lillie and DeMarois, Phil and McGowen, Mercedes and Pitta, Demetra and Pinto, Marcia and Thomas, Michael and Yusof, Yudariah (2011) Symbols and the bifurcation between procedural and conceptual thinking. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 1. pp. 81-104. ISSN 14926156


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Symbols occupy a pivotal position between processes to be carried out and concepts to be thought about. They allow us both to d o mathematical problems and to think about mathematical relationships. In this presentation we consider the discontinuities that occur in the learning path taken by different students, leading to a divergence between conceptual and procedural thinking. Evidence will be given from several different contexts in the development of symbols through arithmetic, algebra and calculus, then on to the formalism of axiomatic mathematics. This is taken from a number of research studies recently performed for doctoral dissertations at the University of Warwick by students from the USA, Malaysia, Cyprus and Brazil, with data collected in the USA, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. All the studies form part of a broad investigation into why some students succeed yet others fail.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Applied Science and Technology > Department of Mathematics and Statistic
Depositing User: Normajihan Abd. Rahman
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2017 07:53
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2017 07:53
URI: http://eprints.uthm.edu.my/id/eprint/8237
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