Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

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2 Using Thinking Blocks to Encourage the Use of Higher Order Thinking Skills among Students When Solving Problems on Fractions

Authors: Abdul Halim Abdullah, Nur Liyana Zainal Abidin, Mahani Mokhtar

Abstract:

Problem-solving is an activity which can encourage students to use Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Learning fractions can be challenging for students since empirical evidence shows that students experience difficulties in solving the fraction problems. However, visual methods can help students to overcome the difficulties since the methods help students to make meaningful visual representations and link abstract concepts in Mathematics. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether there were any changes in students’ HOTS at the four highest levels when learning the fractions by using Thinking Blocks. 54 students participated in a quasi-experiment using pre-tests and post-tests. Students were divided into two groups. The experimental group (n=32) received a treatment to improve the students’ HOTS and the other group acted as the control group (n=22) which used a traditional method. Data were analysed by using Mann-Whitney test. The results indicated that during post-test, students who used Thinking Blocks showed significant improvement in their HOTS level (p=0.000). In addition, the results of post-test also showed that the students’ performance improved significantly at the four highest levels of HOTS; namely, application (p=0.001), analyse (p=0.000), evaluate (p=0.000), and create (p=0.000). Therefore, it can be concluded that Thinking Blocks can effectively encourage students to use the four highest levels of HOTS which consequently enable them to solve fractions problems successfully.

Keywords: problem solving, higher order thinking skills, fractions, Thinking Blocks

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1 Theory of Fractions in College Algebra Course

Authors: Alexander Y. Vaninsky

Abstract:

The paper compares the treatment of fractions in a typical undergraduate college curriculum and in abstract algebra textbooks. It stresses that the main difference is that the undergraduate curriculum treats equivalent fractions as equal, and this treatment eventually leads to paradoxes and impairs the students- ability to perceive ratios, proportions, radicals and rational exponents adequately. The paper suggests a simplified version of rigorous theory of fractions suitable for regular college curriculum.

Keywords: Mathematics curriculum, teacher preparation, fractions, mathematics education

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