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ERIC Number: EJ936615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0819-4564
Enhancing Conceptual Understanding of Trigonometry Using Earth Geometry and the Great Circle
Wongapiwatkul, Pimpalak; Laosinchai, Parames; Panijpan, Bhinyo
Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, v25 n1 p54-63 2011
Trigonometry is an integral part of the draft for the Senior Secondary Australian National Curriculum for Mathematics, as it is a topic in Unit 2 of both Specialist Mathematics and Mathematics Methods, and a reviewing topic in Unit 1, Topic 3: Measurement and Geometry of General Mathematics. However, learning trigonometric ideas is difficult for students and the causes of the difficulties seem to be multifaceted and interrelated. In this article, the authors propose an alternative instruction that centres around Earth geometry, a topic occupying a major portion of Unit 4, Topic 3: Time and Place 2 of Essential Mathematics in the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA, 2010) draft. Being included in Essential Mathematics confirms its importance and usefulness in making sense of the world. While reading the article, keep in mind that it is not intended as stand-alone instruction in trigonometry, as it is based on the authors' experience of supplementing the main lesson, and that it can be adopted partially, depending on the curriculum. The authors present the visual aids to help students visualise the geometry of the Earth, followed by the instruction concerning angle measure. They conclude their instruction with a method of finding the shortest distance between two points on the surface of the Earth (the great-circle distance). (Contains 8 figures.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia