- The Lived Space of Mathematics Learning: An Attempt for Change
- Wong Ngai-Ying ; Chiu Ming Ming ; Wong Ka-Ming ; Lam Chi-Chung ;
- Research in Mathematical Education, volume 9, issue 1, 2005, Pages 25~45
Abstract
Background Phenomenography suggests that more variation is associated with wider ways of experiencing phenomena. In the discipline of mathematics, broadening the 'lived space' of mathematics learning might enhance students' ability to solve mathematics problems Aims The aim of the present study is to: 1. enhance secondary school students' capabilities for dealing with mathematical problems; and 2. examine if students' conception of mathematics can thereby be broadened. Sample 410 Secondary 1 students from ten schools participated in the study and the reference group consisted of 275 Secondary 1 students. Methods The students were provided with non-routine problems in their normal mathematics classes for one academic year. Their attitudes toward mathematics, their conceptions of mathematics, and their problem-solving performance were measured both at the beginning and at the end of the year. Results and conclusions Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that the problem-solving performance of students receiving non-routine problems improved more than that of other students, but the effect depended on the level of use of the non-routine problems and the academic standards of the students. Thus, use of non-routine mathematical problems that appropriately fits students' ability levels can induce changes in their lived space of mathematics learning and broaden their conceptions of mathematics and of mathematics learning.