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ERIC Number: EJ1022775
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1051-1970
The Labeling Strategy: Moving beyond Order in Counting Problems
CadwalladerOlsker, Todd
PRIMUS, v23 n10 p921-934 2013
Permutations and combinations are used to solve certain kinds of counting problems, but many students have trouble distinguishing which of these concepts applies to a given problem. An "order heuristic" is usually used to distinguish the two, but this heuristic can cause confusion when problems do not explicitly mention order. This article suggests that an alternative strategy, based on applying labels, is a more general approach. This strategy replaces permutations and combinations with "labeling" and "choosing," and allows students to move beyond the order heuristic to solve a wider range of problems. This article develops formulas based on this strategy, and gives several examples of how this approach can be used.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A