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Mathematical problem solving: A need for literacy

By Katherine M. Doyle

Abstract

Internationally, educators are concerned about effective methods to function in a technological, global world. In this paper literature is reviewed that explores the relationship between mathematical problem solving and literacy, through mathematical-modelling and top-level structuring of text. The mathematical-modelling problem-solving process offers students an oppportunity for learning mathematical skills through what is very much a literary process. Top-level structuring is an organizational strategy where readers structure texts enabling identification and recall of a text's main idea/s. An extensive search of recent literature reveals strong relationships between reading comprehension and mathematical word problems because text comprehension must interact with mathematical processes to create mathematical literacy. In this paper I argue that mathematical-modelling and top-level structuring are likely to have a strong relationship due to the literary structure of modelling tasks when applied to solving mathematical word problems. Second, I suggest implications for future empowerment where students attain skills from such a strategic combination

Topics: 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy, mathematics, comprehension, top, level structure, mathematical modelling, mathematical literacy, problem solving
Publisher: Griffith University
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:14236

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