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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/18178

Title: The space between an unknown and a variable
Authors: Hewitt, David P.L.
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © the authors. Published by PME
Citation: HEWITT, D., 2014. The space between an unknown and a variable. IN: Oesterle, S., Liljedahl, P., Nicol, C., and Allan, D. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME 38/ PME-NA 36) Vancouver, Canada, volume 3, pp. 289 - 296.
Abstract: The meaning given to letters is significant for students’ ability to be successful with algebraic tasks. Recent studies have noted that even when students have a sense of generalised number, they often have a natural number bias in the values they think a letter can take. This study analyses interviews from 13 students across two schools to explore the meaning they had for letters. The responses supported the idea that some students have a natural number bias and also that the notion of a letter representing a fraction is problematic. In addition, three other factors emerged which affected the meaning given to a letter: what was mentally stressed; the desire to avoid “messy” calculations; and viewing an equation as an example of a wider class of equations.
Description: This is a conference paper.
Version: Published
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/18178
ISBN: 9780864913630
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers (Mathematics Education Centre)

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