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Title: An analysis of Singapore secondary students’ performance on one authentic open-ended mathematics task
Authors: Zhu, Yan
Tan-Foo, Kum Fong
Keywords: authentic
Issue Date: Aug-2005
Citation: Paper presented at the ICMI Regional Conference: The 3rd East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hangzhou, China, 2005
Abstract: Authenticity and open-endedness are two important factors that are being greatly emphasized in mathematics teaching and learning nowadays. This study investigates how Secondary one student in Singapore solved an open ended mathematics problem, River Cruise, set in an authentic context. Over three hundred secondary one students from a high-performing school and a non-high performing school participated in this study. The results reveal that the majority of the students only take into account one condition in coming up with their solution, when it involves more than one possible condition. Working within the framework of that assumed condition, most students merely present one correct answer, when there exist multiple correct answers. The majority of the students do not adopt a systematic approach in solving the problem and the solutions presented are not well organized. However, it has been observed that students enjoyed working on the problem. The results suggest that students need greater exposure to authentic and open-ended tasks in mathematics learning. The exposure will not only help them to develop their problem solving ability and foster their mathematical thinking but also encourage them to make connections between mathematics and the world around us.
Project number: CRP 24/03 FLH
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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