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ERIC Number: ED409311
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Aug
Pages: 37
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Bad and Good Things from Instruction: A European Perspective.
De Corte, Erik; And Others
This paper reports on five related studies on upper elementary school students' beliefs about the role of real-world knowledge in solving mathematical word problems, and on possibilities of overcoming their unrealistic mathematical modeling. Findings from the first study of 75 Belgian fifth-grade students showed that as a consequence of current classroom practice in teaching arithmetic word problem solving, pupils have built up a tendency to solve word problems in a stereotyped way, i.e., they applied one of the basic arithmetic operations (or a combination) with the two given numbers in the problem, without any consideration of the possible problematic modeling assumptions underlying their proposed solution. The results of the second and third studies (64 Belgian and 91 Japanese fifth-grade students) confirmed this tendency, and indicated that it is culturally independent. The fourth study involving 332 Flemish preservice teachers revealed a similar tendency as reflected by these future teachers' preferred spontaneous solutions to word problems and their evaluations of different types of pupil answers. In the fifth study, 53 Belgian sixth-grade students were immersed in a new classroom culture in which word problems were treated as exercises in realistic mathematical modeling. The findings from the fifth study supported the hypothesis that, with specific instructional techniques and sets of challenging problem situations, it is possible to change pupils conceptions about and their disposition toward the activation of real-world knowledge in mathematical modeling of word problems. (Contains 27 references.) (ND)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium; Japan