ERIC Number: ED394796
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
A Constructivist Explanation of the Transition from Arithmetic to Algebra: The Role of Reflective Abstraction.
Goodson-Espy, Tracy J.
This paper reports a study that sought to explain student understanding of the concept of linear inequality as presented in a problem-solving setting. In the course of data analysis, the transition from arithmetic to algebra emerged as a critical issue. Therefore, the study examined the differences in the problem-solving activities of solvers who were able to make a transition from arithmetical methods to algebraic methods as opposed to those who could not. Thirteen college students participated in unstructured interviews in which they solved problems, but were not told that these problems involved linear inequality. Detailed analyses are given for two of the problem solvers. Results showed that, to make a successful transition to algebra, a solver needed to attain post-representational levels of reflective abstraction and that imagery is an inherent part of the transition from one level of reflective abstraction to the next. (MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A