Emrullah Erdem, Yasin Soylu


The purpose of the present study is to reveal the views of middle school mathematics teachers and students regarding a learning environment designed around different methods for improving Mathematical Reasoning (MR). The study was conducted with 27 seventh grade students studying at a randomly selected state school in a city center in Turkey, the teacher who instructs these students’ mathematics courses, and another mathematics teacher employed at the school. For eight weeks (32 class hours in total), the students were instructed on the subjects of fractions and integers through educational games, concrete materials, cartoons, computer-assisted applications, association with daily life, and collaborative group argumentation. Data for the study were collected through interviews conducted with participants, observations of the teachers, and diaries kept by the students throughout the implementation process. The data were analyzed using a content analysis technique. Evidence was found that this environment improved the MR of students, provided effective and permanent learning, and increased attendance at lessons, but the teachers and the students also agreed that it had different effects in terms of classroom management such as noise, control over the classroom, lack of exam marks, not taking notes, time problems, and effects on students’ success in their central exams. It is also possible to say that, with the help of open-ended high-level problems, students tried to provide solutions instead of focusing on choices for answers, and thus they used more MR skill.

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design of learning environment, mathematical reasoning, open-ended problems, views of middle school mathematics teachers and seventh-graders

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