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A constructivist computational platform to support mathematics education in elementary school
ARTICLE

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Computers & Education Volume 66, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Abstract

Many courses for elementary school are based upon teacher presentation and explanation of basic topics, rather than allowing students to develop their own knowledge. This traditional model may turn elementary-level lessons into an extremely theoretical, boring and non-effective process. In this context, research in mathematics elementary education in Mexico indicates the need to analyze alternative pedagogic practices and to find different ways to make mathematics education in early ages less difficult and more attractive. Constructivist theory can provide an alternative for developing pedagogic proposals. The objectives of this research were: (1) develop a computational platform to support the traditional Mexican method of education with practical mathematics problems simulated as part of the daily world environment and to increase the level of students' social involvement through direct collaboration, and (2) analyze how this computational tool affects student motivation, collaboration and discussion. An exploratory case study concerning dimensions of mathematics problem-solving using computer simulations was conducted with 6–8 year old elementary school children. After a theoretical class the children were involved in solving a series of verbal problems, using our computational platform. Sixty third-grade children participated in this case study and data were collected from their responses to questions and interviews in order to explore attitudes toward learning mathematics and assess self-efficacy in this area. The results obtained in this research indicate that the integration of computational tools into conventional method courses provides elements to improve student motivation, collaboration and discussion based on their own exploratory experiences. These results can assist other education programs to incorporate positive attitudes and their own knowledge creation from a constructivist approach using technology.

Citation

Garcia, I. & Pacheco, C. (2013). A constructivist computational platform to support mathematics education in elementary school. Computers & Education, 66(1), 25-39. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 23, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.02.004

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