ERIC Number: ED398068
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
The Mathematics Practice of Carpet Layers: A Closer Look at Problem Solving in Context.
Masingila, Joanna O.
The majority of research on mathematics practice in everyday situations within cultures has investigated the use of arithmetic and geometry concepts and processes. To extend this research to a situation using measurement ideas, this paper investigates the mathematics practice of a group of carpet layers in an effort to detail how ordinary people "actively give meaning to, and fashion, processes of problem solving in the midst of ongoing activities in relevant Settings" (Lave, 1988). Data were collected by observing and informally questioning the employees of a carpet laying business. Four areas of mathematics concepts used by the estimators and/or installers were observed: measurement, computational algorithms, geometry, and ratio and proportion. Two general observations were made: (1) the estimators and installers were not concerned with square footage of a room but with the square feet of carpet needed in the room, and (2) all problems in carpet laying are optimization problems. (MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April, 1996).