The nature and development of experts' strategy flexibility for solving equations

DSpace/Manakin Repository

The nature and development of experts' strategy flexibility for solving equations

Citable link to this page

 

 
Title: The nature and development of experts' strategy flexibility for solving equations
Author: Star, Jon R; Newton, Kristie J.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Star, Jon R., and Kristie J. Newton. 2009. The nature and development of experts' strategy flexibility for solving equations. ZDM - The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 41, 557-567.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: Largely absent from the emerging literature on flexibility is a consideration of experts' flexibility. Do experts exhibit strategy flexibility, as one might assume? If so, how do experts perceive that this capacity developed in themselves? Do experts feel that flexibility is an important instructional outcome in school mathematics? In this paper, we describe results from several interviews with experts to explore strategy flexibility for solving equations. We conducted interviews with eight content experts, where we asked a number of questions about flexibility and also engaged the experts in problem solving. Our analysis indicates that the experts that were interviewed did exhibit strategy flexibility in the domain of linear equation solving, but they did not consistently select the most efficient method for solving a given equation. However, regardless of whether these experts used the best method on a given problem, they nevertheless showed an awareness of and an appreciation of efficient and elegant problem solutions. The experts that we spoke to were capable of making subtle judgments about the most appropriate strategy for a given problem, based on factors including mental and rapid testing of strategies, the problem solver's goals (e.g., efficiency, error-free execution, elegance) and familiarity with a given problem type. Implications for future research on flexibility and on mathematics instruction are discussed.
Published Version: doi:10.1007/s11858-009-0185-5
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4889493
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

 
 

Search DASH


Advanced Search
 
 

Submitters