Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/17816
Title: Mathematical investigation: Task, process and activity
Authors: Yeo, Joseph B. W.
Yeap, Ban Har
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Technical report ME2009-01, January 2009, Mathematics and Mathematics Education, National Institute of Education, Singapore
Abstract: Many writers believe that mathematical investigation is open and it involves both problem posing and problem solving. However, some teachers feel that there is a sense of doing some sort of investigation when solving problems with a closed goal and answer but they are unable to identify the characteristics of this type of investigation. Such confusion will affect how teachers teach their students and how researchers conduct their research on investigation. Therefore, this article seeks to clarify the relationship between investigation and problem solving by providing an alternative characterisation of mathematical investigation as a process involving specialisation, conjecturing, justification and generalisation. It also distinguishes between mathematical investigation as a process and as an activity: investigation, as a process, can occur when solving problems with a closed goal and answer, while investigation, as an activity involving open investigative tasks, includes both problem posing and problem solving. Implicit support for this alternative characterisation of mathematical investigation is gathered from some existing literature as these writers did not state this perspective explicitly. The article concludes with some implications of this alternative view on teaching and research.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/17816
Website: http://math.nie.edu.sg/research/Maths2009/JBWYTechnicalReport%20ME200901.pdf
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