PRIMARY SOURCES AND HISTORY-BASED PROBLEMS ABOUT ISOPERIMETRY: A USE OF MATHEMATICS HISTORY IN GRADE SIX

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

MENON ©online Journal Of Educational Research, 2nd Thematic Issue, University of Western Macedonia - Faculty of Education, Issue 2, Florina, Greece, p.19 (2016)

Keywords:

Area, Geometrical Working Space, History of mathematics, Isoperimetric figures, Primary sources

Abstract:

In this paper, we report on the use of one historical note and two primary sources, an extract from Pappus’ Collection and an extract from Polybius’ Histories, in the context of an instructional intervention focused on isoperimetric figures and area-perimeter relationships. The participants were 22 sixth graders, aged 11-12. The research findings we present here are based on classroom observations, on the worksheets used during the intervention and on personal interviews with the students. During the intervention, the students solved problems, which were based on the sources. Twenty-one of the 22 students considered the problem which was based on Pappus’ text to be more interesting than the problems that they were usually asked to solve in mathematics. In addition, the students’ ratings of the texts indicate that the extract from Pappus was the text that they liked most. We also examine the various ways through which the particular use of mathematics history affected the development of the students’ personal Geometrical Working Spaces.

Body: 

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