NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1108729
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1305-8223
Flexibly Applying the Distributive Law--Students' Individual Ways of Perceiving the Distributive Property
Schueler-Meyer, Alexander
EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, v12 n10 p2719-2732 Oct 2016
Flexibility in transforming algebraic expressions is recognized as fundamental for a rich procedural knowledge. Here, flexibility in-depth is proposed as the ability to apply one strategy to a wide range of unfamiliar expressions. In this study, design experiments with four groups of students were conducted to support students' flexibility in-depth in regard to the application of the distributive law with the help of worked examples. The data from these experiments was analyzed qualitatively with the method of content analysis. Students' flexibility in-depth translates into their abilities to reconstruct the distributive property within an expression via its perceived relevant structural features. The students' use individual cornerstones for this reconstruction, for example worked examples or certain focal points in an expression like the multiplication sign. Transforming expressions and especially applying formulas to algebraic expressions is thus an interpretative and reconstructive process.
EURASIA. Gazi Egitim Fakultesi, K Blok 210, Teknikokullar, Ankara, 06500 Turkey. Tel: +90-312-202-8192; Fax: +90-312-222-8483; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A