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Abstract reasoning with mathematical constructs


Staub, Fritz C; Stern, Elsbeth (1997). Abstract reasoning with mathematical constructs. International Journal of Educational Research, 27(1):63-75.

Abstract

Mathematical constructs have a dual role because they can be used as instruments to model real world situations and events, but they can also become an object of reasoning. Mathematics is a particularly abstract domain because the affordances and constraints underlying the use of mathematical constructs may be different from the affordances and constraints in real-world situations. We argue that this makes the acquisition of quantitative schemata a difficult task but also accounts for the potential to extend our understanding of the world by mathematical means. We refer to developmental, educational, and experimental studies supporting the view that new understandings and powerful ways of reasoning become possible on the basis of culturally mediated mathematical constructs.

Abstract

Mathematical constructs have a dual role because they can be used as instruments to model real world situations and events, but they can also become an object of reasoning. Mathematics is a particularly abstract domain because the affordances and constraints underlying the use of mathematical constructs may be different from the affordances and constraints in real-world situations. We argue that this makes the acquisition of quantitative schemata a difficult task but also accounts for the potential to extend our understanding of the world by mathematical means. We refer to developmental, educational, and experimental studies supporting the view that new understandings and powerful ways of reasoning become possible on the basis of culturally mediated mathematical constructs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Education
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:1997
Deposited On:07 Jan 2015 10:04
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:45
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0883-0355
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0883-0355(97)88444-3

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