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ERIC Number: ED489694
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 10
Making Sense of Irrational Numbers: Focusing on Representation
Zazkis, Rina; Sirotic, Natasa
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, 28th, Bergen, Norway, July 14-18, 2004
In our investigation of preservice secondary teachers' understanding of irrational numbers we focus on how different representations influence participants' responses with respect to irrationality. As a theoretical perspective we use the distinction between transparent and opaque representations, that is, representations that "show" some features of numbers while they "hide" others. The results suggest that often participants do not rely on the given transparent representation (i.e. 53/83) in determining whether a number is rational or irrational. Further, the results indicate participants' tendency to rely on a calculator and a preference towards decimal over the common fraction representation. As a general recommendation for teaching practice we suggest a tighter emphasis on representations and conclusions that can be derived from considering them. [For complete proceedings, see ED489597.]
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, 35 Aandwind Street, Kirstenhof, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A