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Linking comparing and contrasting, generalising and justifying: a case study of primary students’ levels of justifying

Version 2 2024-06-03, 17:50
Version 1 2020-01-30, 14:50
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 17:50 authored by Wanty WidjajaWanty Widjaja, C Vale, S Herbert, EYK Loong, LA Bragg
Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Inc. Engaging students in comparing and contrasting, forming conjectures, generalising and justifying is critical to develop their mathematical reasoning, but there are untapped opportunities for primary school students to improve these reasoning processes in mathematics lessons. Through a case study of one task, this paper reports on levels of justifying and the connections to other reasoning processes of comparing and contrasting, forming conjectures and generalising observed among Year 3–4 Australian and Canadian students (9–10-year olds) using the mathematical reasoning actions and levels (MRAL) framework (Authors 2017). The findings revealed that examining commonalities and differences was critical to allow Year 3–4 students to form conjectures and generalise for themselves. Justifying by examples and seeking counterexamples to evaluate the conjecture were prevalent with some students attempting to develop logical argument. The findings have implications for frameworks that assess students’ levels of justifying and for teacher actions that encourage students to communicate their reasoning through oral and non-verbal as well as written communications.

History

Journal

Mathematics Education Research Journal

Volume

33

Pagination

321-343

Location

Berlin, Germany

ISSN

1033-2170

eISSN

2211-050X

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

2

Publisher

SPRINGER