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Title: Collective reasoning and sense making processes during a real-world mathematical project
Authors: Ng, Dawn Kit Ee
Keywords: Group Work
Mathematical Reasoning
Real-World Tasks
Sense Making
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Citation: Paper presented at the 5th East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education, Tokyo, 18-22 August 2010
Abstract: The Singapore mathematics curriculum framework emphasises sense-making, requiring teachers to use varied methods to develop students' understanding of mathematical concepts so as to make sense of ideas, connections, and applications. Mathematical reasoning, which refers to the ability to analyse mathematical situations and construct logical arguments, is also one of the key focuses in the Singapore mathematics syllabus. Research in Singapore on reasoning and sense making during the negotiation of meaning in group collaborative problem solving involving real-world mathematical tasks is limited albeit the importance of such tasks in engaging the learner. This paper compares and contrasts key features of the reasoning and sense making journeys of two case study groups as they participated in a real-world design-based mathematical project. It was discovered that the two groups had contrasting reasoning and sense making processes related to the reasonableness of measurements within their interpretations of the real-world constraints of the project. This was mainly due to group dynamics and their members' ability to communicate their mathematical arguments effectively during group discussions.
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