Developmental algorithms have meaning


Green, John. 1997. "Developmental algorithms have meaning." Australian Mathematics Teacher. 53 (4), pp. 40 - 44.
Article Title

Developmental algorithms have meaning

ERA Journal ID35677
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorGreen, John
Journal TitleAustralian Mathematics Teacher
Journal Citation53 (4), pp. 40 - 44
Number of Pages14
Place of PublicationAdelaide, Australia
Web Address (URL);dn=535281719328600;res=IELHSS

In many areas of mathematics present day scientific and graphing calculators are removing the need to utilise mathematical algorithms for computational purposes. This must lead us to question the educational benefit in having children blindly memorise and apply certain algorithms. On the other hand I would argue that further exploration of these same algorithms can often give a child the opportunity to investigate mathematical situations that would otherwise be missed. This can help to add to the child's total development and growth in the subject and is consistent also with the widely accepted view that learning is best thought of as an active and productive process on the part of the learner. When teaching algorithms it makes good sense then to include activities which children regard as purposeful and interesting. This will give children the opportunity to experience the processes through which mathematics develops and help them to develop their capacity to use mathematics in solving problems individually and collaboratively. Developmental algorithms, when appropriate and used sensibly can play a part in the realisation of such a goal.

Keywordsmathematics; problem solving in children; problems exercises; algorithms
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020490302. Numerical analysis
390109. Mathematics and numeracy curriculum and pedagogy
390304. Primary education
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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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