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Investigating the factors which influence the child's conception of angle.

Magina, Sandra Maria Pinto. (1994) Investigating the factors which influence the child's conception of angle. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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The aim of the present study is to investigate the factors which influence the child's understanding of angle. Fifty-four students aged from 6 to 14, were set 92 activities to solve in three separate sections. The activities were elaborated according to six interwoven variables: (a) activities in static and dynamic perspectives carried out under (b) three different representational systems: oral (everyday life model), written (paper and pencil model), and bodysyntonic (Logo model). These were inserted in three situations (c), rotation, navigation and comparison, using (d) different materials. The children were asked (e) to perform an action or to recognise differences and similarities between angles, followed by an explanation, or description of what they had done. All activities involved (f) different sizes of angle. The findings were submitted to both quantitative and posteriori qualitative analysis. Cross-sectionally by age, the data indicate a strong trend of improved performance with age. This points to a developmental effect, but the school's influence has to be taken into account. The results suggest that the child's acquisition of the conception of angle has a dynamic perspective as its starting-point. In particular, the children performed better within activities which involved rotation. This does not imply that every child used the dynamic perspective of angle consistently across all tasks. In fact the choice of perspective frequently changedaccording to the meaning of the situation, which could sometimes be depended on cultural influences. This was particularly apparent in the watch arena, the situation which the children were most successful. In a comparison of representational systems, the best performances were achieved in activities on Logo, while activities conducted with paper & pencil proved to be the most difficult. Performance was also enhanced in tasks which required action by the children. These findings indicate that there exist various factors influencing a child's understanding of angle, and these factors are close interrelated.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Mathematics education,Primary education,Lower secondary education,Learning style,Geometry education,Brazil,Concept formation
Subjects: Departments > Culture, Communication and Media
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Welshman
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 15:56
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 11:25
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