The Strategy the Use of False Assumption and Word Problem Solving
Keywords:problem solving, false assumption, word problems, false position method, phylogenesis and ontogenesis theory
The paper describes one problem solving strategy – the Use of false assumption. The objective of the paper is to show, in accordance with Phylogenesis and Ontogenesis Theory, that it is worthwhile to reiterate the process of development of the concept of a variable and thus provide to pupils one of the ways helping them to eliminate usual difficulties when solving word problems using linear equations, namely construction of the equations. The paper presents the outcomes of a study conducted on three lower secondary schools in the Czech Republic with 147 14–15-year-old pupils. Pupils from the experimental group were, unlike pupils from the control group, taught the strategy the Use of false assumption before being taught the topic Solving word problems. The tool for the study was a test of four problems that was sat by all the involved pupils three weeks after finishing the topic “Solving word problems” and whose results were evaluated statistically. The experiment confirmed the research hypothesis that the introduction of the strategy the Use of false assumption into 8th grade mathematics lessons (14–15-year-old pupils) helps pupils construct equations more successfully when solving word problems.
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