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Mathematical tasks : clarification, classification and choice of suitable tasks for different types of learning and assessment
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Series/Report no.: 
Mathematics and Mathematics Education technical report series;
In this paper, the differences between mathematical tasks such as problem-solving tasks, investigative
tasks, guided-discovery tasks, project work, real-life tasks, problem-posing tasks, open tasks and illstructured
tasks will be contrasted. Such clarification is important because it can affect how and what
teachers teach since the diverse types of tasks have different pedagogical uses, and it can also help
researchers to define more clearly the tasks that they are investigating on. A framework to characterise
the openness of mathematical tasks based on task variables such as the goal, the method, the answer,
scaffolding and extension will be described. The tasks are then classified according to their teaching
purpose: mathematically-rich tasks, such as analytical tasks and synthesis tasks, can provide students
with opportunities to learn new mathematics and to develop mathematical processes such as problemsolving
strategies, analytical thinking, metacognition and creativity; and non-mathematically-rich tasks,
such as procedural tasks, can only provide students with practice of procedures. Rich assessment tasks
that teachers can use to assess students’ conceptual understanding, mathematical communication and
thinking processes will also be discussed. The clarification of terminologies and the classification of
mathematical tasks will help teachers to understand more about the purpose and characteristics of the
diverse types of tasks so that they can choose appropriate tasks to develop the different facets of their
students’ mental structures and to assess the various aspects of their learning.
Call Number: 
QA11.2 Yeo
Appears in Collections:Research Reports

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