NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ869658
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1571-0068
Examining Eighth Grade Kuwaiti Students' Recognition and Interpretation of Reasonable Answers
Alajmi, Amal Hussain; Reys, Robert
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, v8 n1 p117-139 Feb 2010
This research documents Kuwaiti eighth grade students' performance in recognizing reasonable answers and the strategies they used to determine reasonableness. The results from over 200 eighth grade students show they were generally unable to recognize reasonable answers. Students' performance was consistently low across all three number domains (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals). There was no significant difference in students' performance on items that focused on the practicality of the answers or on items that focused on the relationships of numbers and the effect of operations, or on both. Interview data revealed that 35% of the students' strategies were derived from two criteria for judging answers for reasonableness: the relationships of numbers and the effect of operations, and the practicality of the answers. They used strategies such as estimation, numerical benchmarks, real-world benchmarks, and applied their understanding of the meaning of operations. However, over 60% of the students' strategies were procedurally driven. That is, they relied on algorithmic techniques such as carrying out paper-and-pencil procedures. Additionally, some of the students' strategies reflected misunderstandings of how and when to apply certain procedures. Given these findings, mathematics education in Kuwait should shift the emphasis from paper-and-pencil procedures and provide systematic attention to the development of number sense and computational estimation so Kuwaiti students will be more adept at recognizing reasonable answers.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kuwait