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Undergraduate students' preference for procedural to conceptual solutions to mathematical problems
University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3681-3535
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2009 (English)In: International journal of mathematical education in science and technology, ISSN 0020-739X, E-ISSN 1464-5211, ISSN 0020-739X, Vol. 40, no 7, 927-940 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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. On the basis of 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 ‘proceduralized’ by the students sheds some new light on this classical distinction. It is argued that the distinction can be operationalized in test items in a meaningful way but that caution needs to be taken in interpreting the results considering the complex interdependence of these constructs when doing mathematical work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxon, UK: Taylor & Francis , 2009. Vol. 40, no 7, 927-940 p.
Keyword [en]
conceptual thinking, procedural thinking, undergraduate mathematics
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-56786DOI: 10.1080/00207390903200968OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-56786DiVA: diva2:322231
Available from: 2010-06-04 Created: 2010-06-04 Last updated: 2017-12-12

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Bergsten, ChristerKågesten, Owe

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