Mathematics Education Seminar Online


Contemporary issues in mathematics education: word problems and strategy flexibility

Marian Hickendorff, Leiden University

My research ambition is to provide empirical basis to questions and discussions about mathematics education. In this seminar I will focus on two such topics.

The first is: What is the effect of presenting a mathematics problem as a word problem? Results from studies in first to sixth graders are presented, addressing ‘standard’ arithmetic word problems and different kinds of ‘non-standard’ word problems, such as problems with an irrelevant number that has to be ignored, or problems where students have to make realistic considerations in order to obtain the right answer. Furthermore, the domain of whole-number arithmetic is extended to fractions. Since fraction arithmetic is quite difficult and abstract for primary school students, situating such problems in realistic contexts might help students overcoming their difficulties.

The second topic is students’ flexible and adaptive strategy use in solving multi-digit subtraction problems such as 84-67.  One of the objectives of mathematics education is that students can use ‘clever’ shortcut strategies such as adding-on or compensation. However, research findings show that students are not much inclined to do so. Results from a study in third graders are presented that give insight into whether students know more then they show, and into whether the ‘clever’ shortcut strategy is really clever for individual students.

The seminar will be held online in Microsoft Teams

Mathematics Education Seminars are conducted monthly; additional information can be found on the seminar webpage

If you would like to receive invitations to further meetings, please subscribe to the mailing list, or contact us: Rogier Bos and/or Anna Shvarts

Begindatum en -tijd
Einddatum en -tijd
Online in Microsoft Teams