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ERIC Number: EJ1043412
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Error-Eliciting Problems: Fostering Understanding and Thinking
Lim, Kien H.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v20 n2 p106-112, 114 Sep 2014
Student errors are springboards for analyzing, reasoning, and justifying. The mathematics education community recognizes the value of student errors, noting that "mistakes are seen not as dead ends but rather as potential avenues for learning." To induce specific errors and help students learn, choose tasks that might produce mistakes. By using student errors appropriately in a mathematics classroom, a teacher can stimulate inquiry, discussion, and reflection. Error-eliciting problems are mathematical tasks that are designed specifically to bring forth among students common mistakes pertaining to a particular mathematical concept. Error-eliciting problems allow students to become aware of their impulsive disposition and realize the benefits of attending to meaning and reasoning quantitatively. When students notice an improvement in their ability to withhold their immediate response and analyze the problem situation, they are more likely to want to improve their analytical disposition. Error-eliciting problems can therefore help students recognize their misunderstandings in mathematics as well as their impulsivity in responding to problems.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A