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Title: Students' errors in mathematics at the junior college level
Authors: Dindyal, Jaguthsing
Pang, Alwyn Wai-Kit
Keywords: reasoning errors
Junior College mathematics
mathematical reasoning
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Citation: Paper presented at the 5th East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education, Tokyo, 18-22 August 2010
Abstract: This study involved 69 students of mixed ability from a Junior College in Singapore. The aim of the study was to document the types of errors made by the students and the reasons why such errors were made. The test instrument had 15 free response items covering various topics from the syllabus. The errors made by the students were documented. Further information on the students' reasoning processes was obtained through semi-structured interviews of a selected group of students from the sample. Based on the test and the interviews, the errors were then analyzed. Five areas of mathematical reasoning errors emerged from the analysis. Many of the errors arose because students failed to bridge the cognitive gaps in their learning, which invariably contributed to a lack of structural awareness in mathematical ideas. Thus, mathematical knowledge gained from earlier experiences was inappropriately applied to new contexts having different structures, giving rise to errors in the use of analogies.
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers

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