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Undergraduate students’ preference for procedural to conceptual solutions to mathematical problems
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
University of Pretoia.
2009 (English)In: Accepterat för publicering vid Delta 09, november 2009, 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports from a collaboration project between South Africa and Sweden, in which we want to investigate whether the emphasis in undergraduate mathematics courses for engineering students should be more conceptual than the current traditional way of teaching. Based on a review of the distinction between conceptual and procedural knowledge, an analysis of student solutions to tasks designed to be solved with a conceptual approach but ‘proceduralised’ by the students, sheds some new light on this classical distinction. It is argued that the distinction can be operationalised in test items in a meaningful way but that caution need to be taken in interpreting the results considering the complex interdependence of these constructs when doing mathematical work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
conceptual thinking, procedural thinking, undergraduate mathematics AMS Subject Classification: 97C20; 97C50
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-50971OAI: diva2:272448
Available from: 2009-10-15 Created: 2009-10-15 Last updated: 2009-10-17

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