27. september 2015

Number tricks as a didactical tool for teaching elementary algebra

Number tricks as a didactical tool for teaching elementary algebra [0.983 MB].

IND's studenterserie nr. 41. Kandidatspeciale. Matematik

Asger Brix Jensen, Juli 2015

Vejleder: Carl Winsløw


The master thesis examines the adidactical potentials of using number tricks as frame for teaching elementary algebra to low level math students at Danish STX. A diagnostic test was made and implemented, and from this was defined target knowledge. Using the theory of didactical situations, two lessons were designed to specifically induce the target mathematical knowledge through adidactical situations. The lessons were analyzed using the theory of didactical situations, and it was concluded, that high adida tical potentials exist when using number tricks as a frame for teaching elementary algebra. It was also concluded, that the test students in low level math classes in Danish STX exhibited both didactical and epistemological obstacles with elementary algebra leading to misconceptions such as √a+b = √a + √b . Through the analysis, it was concluded, that in cases, where the devolution leading to the adidactical phase was successful, the misconceptions were successfully dealt with, while in cases where the devolution was lacking, the misconceptions were not dealt with at all. Instances of broken didactical contract, Jourdain effect and Topaz effect were observed. Post-lesson diagnostics revealed, that progress had been made for the students both regarding the specific misconceptions and the overall abilities to handle algebraic expressions.