- Algebraic Problem Solving of the High School Students : An Analysis of Strategies and Errors
- Lee, Sang-Won ; Jeon, Pyung-Kook ;
- Communications of Mathematical Education, volume 2, 1997, Pages 181~191
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to provide the primary sources to improve the problem solving performance by analyzing the errors and the strategies selection of the high school students when solving given algebraic problems. To attain the purpose of this study, the questions for investigation in this study are : 1. What are the differences / similarities in the patterns of errors committed by successful and unsuccessful problem-solvers when solving particular algebraic problems ? 2. What are the error types chosen by unsuccessful problem-solvers when solving particular algebraic problems? 3. Do students utilize checking, either locally or globally, when solving particular algebraic problems? Twenty students were drawn out of 10th grade students in J girls' high school in Yengi -gun, Chung-Nam, for this study. The problem-solving test was used as a test instrument. From the data, the verbal protocols and the written protocols were analyzed by the patterns. The conclusions drawn from the results obtained in the present study are as follows: First, in solving particular algebraic problems, when the problems were solved with one strategy, most students didn't give any consideration to other strategies. So mathematics teachers should teach them to use the various strategies, and should develop the problems to be used the various strategies. Second, in solving particular algebraic problems, errors on notions or transformations of equations were found. Thus, the basic knowledges related to equation should be taught. In addition, most unsuccessful students seleted the strategies inadequately to solve the problems because of misunderstanding the problems. So, to improve the problem solving performance the processes of 'understanding problem' should be emphasized to students. Third, although the unsuccesful students used the 'checking' processes when solving the problems, most of them did not find the errors because of misconceptions related to the problems, carelessness, and unskillfulness of checking. Thus, students must be taught more carefully and encouraged to use the checking.