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ERIC Number: ED349168
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Relationship between Mental Models Related to the Particulate Nature of Matter and the Infinite Nature of Geometrical Figures.
Tirosh, Dina; Stavy, Ruth
A study was conducted in Israel to determine effects of external similarity in problem structure on students' responses. Fifty students from each of the 7th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade levels were presented with three problems involving successive divisions that were similar in structure. The problems asked separately whether the processes of continually halving a line segment, a copper wire, or a cup full of water would come to an end. The order of the questioning was varied to counterbalance the effect that order might have. Results indicated that the frequency of responses indicating that the process was infinite increased with grade level. Findings indicate that procedural similarity affected students' responses with 51% of the students giving the same response to all three problems. A study of response patterns revealed that figural similarity minimally affected students' responses with 16% of the students giving finite responses to the line segment and copper wire and an infinite response to the water problem, or vice versa. (MDH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: National Assn for Research in Science Teaching; Problem Structure
Note: Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (March 1992).