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ERIC Number: EJ848956
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0126-7663
Solution Strategies, Modes of Representation and Justifications of Primary Five Pupils in Solving Pre Algebra Problems: An Experience of Using Task-Based Interview and Verbal Protocol Analysis
Ling, Gan We; Ghazali, Munirah
Journal of Science and Mathematics Education in Southeast Asia, v30 n1 p45-66 Jun 2007
This descriptive study was aimed at looking into how Primary 5 pupils solve pre-algebra problems concerning patterns and unknown quantities. Specifically, objectives of this study were to describe Primary 5 pupils' solution strategies, modes of representations and justifications in: (a) discovering, describing and using numerical and geometrical patterns, and (b) solving for unknown quantities in word problems. Subjects of this study consisted of four Primary 5 pupils from a rural primary school in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak. All the subjects were given a set of five pre algebra problems. The first problem concerned numerical pattern while the second and third problems concerned geometrical patterns. The fourth and fifth problems were word problems involving unknown quantities. Pupils were asked to write down all the steps used in solving those problems and at the same time verbalise their thinking. Data were collected through pupils' verbal think aloud protocols, retrospective questioning and observation. All verbal data were transcribed before they were analyzed. All written work by pupils was also analysed. Findings of this study suggested that pupils displayed different solution strategies and used various modes of representation to solve problems concerning patterns. In solving for unknown quantities in word problems, pupils justified their strategies differently even though their solution strategies appeared similar. Major errors made in the process of solving those pre algebra problems were also discussed. Some problems and suggestions to improve the use of task-based interview and collection of verbal think aloud protocol were discussed at the end of this paper. (Contains 3 figures.)
Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics (SEAMEO RECSAM). Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. Tel: +011-60-4-658-3266; Fax: +011-60-4-657-2541; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malaysia