ERIC Number: ED295804
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: N/A
The Presentation of the Concept of Variable and the Development of Problem Solving Skills: A Multi-Text Review.
This paper gives results of a review of 41 high school, junior high school, and college algebra and mathematics textbooks. The review focuses on two facets of the curriculum: (1) the presentation of the concept of variable; and (2) word problems and the presentation of problem solving skills. With regard to the variable concept it was concluded that the review of the 41 textbooks revealed an astounding diversity in the approaches to presenting the concept of variable. Many approaches preclude other approaches, are contradictory, or are in some other way incompatible with each other. No book fully gets accross the idea of continuous variability without becoming pedantic and cumbersome. Furthermore, a majority of the texts are in some way ambiguous or confusing. Relative to the second focus of the study, problem solving, textbooks need to include more word problems and thought problems that require more than a passive, algorithmic solution. Means for developing healthy problem solving habits in students should be explored and developed. (PK)
Descriptors: Algebra, College Mathematics, Equations (Mathematics), Functions (Mathematics), Mathematical Concepts, Mathematical Vocabulary, Mathematics Curriculum, Mathematics Education, Mathematics Instruction, Problem Solving, Secondary Education, Secondary School Mathematics, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Research
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A