## You are here

Home › TLRI research › Research in progress › Cross sector › Making mathematical thinking visible# Making mathematical thinking visible

## Warning message

The subscription service is currently unavailable. Please try again later.### Project Description

This project designs reporting tools for documenting the mathematical thinking that emerges during non-standard mathematics tasks called modelling activities. These tools will raise the visibility of mathematical thinking in modelling activities, addressing the often-heard criticism: 'these are fun problems, but where's the maths?'

### Why is this research important?

Modelling activities encourage students to develop 21st C mathematical competencies such as communication, problem solving, and teamwork. Yet current measures of mathematical learning are inadequate for describing the complexity of mathematical thinking that occurs during modelling activities. Consequently modelling activities are often marginalised in upper-secondary and tertiary curricula, compared to easy-to-measure basic skills. Well-designed reporting tools can redress this imbalance by raising the visibility of the complex mathematical thinking that occurs during modelling activities.

### The aim of this research

The aim is to capture and describe student mathematical thinking in a way that raises the visibility while retaining and respecting its complex nature. The project addresses two research questions:

- What reporting tools will document, measure and describe the mathematical thinking of students working on modelling activities in a way that makes their complex mathematical thinking visible to researchers, teachers, and students?
- What theoretically justifiable analytical framework can be used to capture and describe rigorously the complex mathematical thinking of students working on modelling activities, in order to inform the design of practical reporting tools?

### What we will do

We will design reporting tools and the underlying theoretical framework for these tools over twelve design cycles within six research sites. The research will be conducted according to a design based research methodology, which involves the twin development of theory and practical tools:

- Within each cycle, students will work on four modelling activities.
- Researchers will design reports of the mathematical thinking students demonstrate during these modelling activities.
- These reports will then be critically evaluated by teachers, researchers, and the students themselves, to determine how well they raised the visibility of hte mathematical thinking.
- Feedback from the testing will inform revisions to the theoretical framework, which will then inforthe design of the reporting tools in the subsequent cycle.

### Contact details

Associate Professor Caroline Yoon

Department of Mathematics

The University of Auckland

Private Bag 92061

Symonds Street 1150

c.yoon@auckland.ac.nz

09 923 874