ERIC Number: ED335219
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
The Relationship of Children's Mathematical Knowledge to Their Understanding of Geographical Concepts.
Kaplan, Rochelle G.
Mathematical concepts presented within disciplines outside mathematics are either assumed to be already familiar to the students, or else, they are regarded as being peripheral to the appreciation of the content of the nonmathematical lesson. Because it is routinely included without regard for possible students' interpretations, the mathematical information may actually contribute to students' misconceptions rather than the students' enrichment in both the mathematics and the other discipline. Directly related to this situation is the national concern about geographical illiteracy among students, particularly with respect to its origins within the classroom setting. A study postulated that students' levels of conception (or misconception) in mathematics are associated with the extent of their accuracy in interpreting geographic problems and that particular forms of mathematical competence are highly associated with geographic knowledge. After the collection of representative text materials for grades 3-6, interview protocols consisting of "matching" mathematics and geography tasks were prepared for 64 students (8 boys and 8 girls from each grade) from two schools in a middle-class suburban public school district in northern New Jersey. Results of quantitatively scored interviews indicated a significant positive correlation on overall performance between mathematics tasks and geography tasks. However, although both computational skills and conceptual understanding contributed significantly to this correlation, there was a trend for the relationship between computation and geography performance to decrease in the higher grades, whereas the relationship between conceptual understanding in mathematics and geography performance tended to increase with grade level. (JJK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).