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ERIC Number: ED501149
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 14
The Context Sensitivity of Mathematical Generalizations
Wagner, Joseph F.
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Paper presented at the 27th International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education Conference Held Jointly with the 25th PME-NA Conference (Honolulu, HI, Jul 13-18, 2003), v4 p363-370
Many theoretical explanations for knowledge transfer or generalization assume that such processes are rooted in the acquisition of abstract rules, principles, or schemata applicable in context-independent ways. This case study is part of a larger research program examining how what often appears to be generalized knowledge or performance is, in fact, supported by systems of context-sensitive knowledge. A microgenetic analysis of an undergraduate student's solution to two mathematically isomorphic probability problems demonstrates how he perceived the two problems as structurally and phenomenologically different despite his ability to apply a single, correct, schematic solution to both. The means by which he finally perceived the problems as structurally "alike" was influenced by both the relevant solution principle and the problem context. [For complete proceedings, see ED500860.]
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. 35 Aandwind Street, Kirstenhof, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa. Tel: +27-21-715-3559; Fax: +27-88-021-715-3559; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States