ERIC Number: ED324205
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Mathematical Knowledge in Children's Understanding of Geographical Concepts.
Kaplan, Rochelle G.
This study examines the relationship between children's procedural and conceptual understanding of mathematics and their accuracy in reporting and interpreting geography text material containing mathematical information. It was hypothesized that (1) children's misconceptions or lack of experience with particular mathematical content areas would be associated with inaccurate interpretations of geography content; and (2) that mathematical competence would not necessarily be applied to reasoning about mathematically related geographical concepts. Sixty-four children, 16 in each of grades 3-6, were interviewed about related topics in mathematics and geography to test these hypotheses. Preliminary data analysis focusing on the correlational relationship between knowledge of mathematics and the attainment and application of geographical concepts tended to be consistent with expectations. First, there seemed to be a positive relationship between overall mathematics and geography performance. However, the data indicate that mathematically inaccurate children had lower accuracy scores on some but not all geographical information as compared to children who were accurate in their mathematical concepts and procedures. This suggested that the positive correlation between mathematics and geographical knowledge scores was not necessarily a function of mathematically competent children applying their knowledge to geographical contexts. There may have been a common non-mathematical component related to performance in both areas that affected some contexts but not others. Appended are examples of mathematical misconceptions and associated geographical knowledge for grades 3-5. (KR)
Descriptors: Computation, Concept Formation, Curriculum Development, Elementary School Mathematics, Geographic Concepts, Geography, Geography Instruction, Graphs, Interdisciplinary Approach, Intermediate Grades, Knowledge Level, Mathematical Applications, Mathematics Curriculum, Mathematics Education, Mathematics Skills, Middle Schools, Misconceptions, Problem Solving, Reading Comprehension, Social Studies
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the New England Educational Research Organization (Rockport, MA, May 2-4, 1990). Contains some broken type which may not reproduce well.