ERIC Number: ED339609
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
The "Mathnet" Format on "SQUARE ONE": Children's Informal Problem Solving, Understanding of Mathematical Concepts, and Ideas and Attitudes about Mathematics.
Schauble, Leona; Peel, Tina
Problem solving is a main topic in mathematics education, and considerable headway has been made in identifying the processes involved in solving well-formed problems like algebra word problems, mathematical algorithms, and logical puzzles like the Tower of Hanoi. The "Mathnet" format of the SQUARE ONE TV program, however, requires viewers to reason deductively from a set of premises to a conclusion involving problems that people might grapple with every day, using critical thinking and informal reasoning. A study examined the effects of exposure to three "Mathnet" segments on the informal reasoning, the understanding of mathematical concepts, and ideas and attitudes of third, fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students. Eighty-six public school children composing four intact classes of the four grade levels viewed the segments during a 3-week period. Data was collected each day from a sample of 3-5 children responding to written items in "Mathnet Logbooks" and participating in group discussions. Results indicate that: (1) "Mathnet" motivated children to engage in problem solving; (2) children in the study displayed more sophisticated kinds of reasoning, readily generating alternative hypotheses resolving discrepancies between the evidence and their theories; (3) children identified instances of mathematics applications in the segments and related calculations performed, but showed incomplete understanding of identified concepts; (4) children appreciated calculator and computer efficiency, but sometimes considered their use as "cheating"; and (5) children could identify activities which required mathematics, but frequently limited such activities to those using numbers. (MDH)
Descriptors: Attitude Measures, Childrens Television, Educational Television, Elementary Education, Elementary School Mathematics, Enrichment Activities, Mathematical Applications, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematical Enrichment, Mathematics Education, Problem Solving, Student Attitudes, Television Curriculum, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Children's Television Workshop, New York, NY.