The formula triangle and other problems with procedural teaching in mathematics

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Students often express dislike of mathematics, even when they seem competent at it. They are often taught shortcuts for untangling mathematical problems; however, these shortcuts can bypass understanding and diminish a student’s ability to recognise when an answer looks correct and when it does not. Using the examples of the formula triangle and a method for subtraction, it is shown that the mathematical steps to solve problems must be thoroughly understood before they are used, to lead to the understanding of short routines. Only then will students become confident in their answers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalSchool Science Review
Issue number360
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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