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Software tools for geometrical problem solving: potentials and pitfalls

Healy, L; Hoyles, C; (2002) Software tools for geometrical problem solving: potentials and pitfalls. International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning , 6 (3) pp. 235-256. Green open access

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Abstract

Dynamic geometry software provides tools for students to construct and experiment with geometrical objects and relationships. On the basis of their experimentation, students make conjectures that can be tested with the tools available. In this paper, we explore the role of software tools in geometry problem solving and how these tools, in interaction with activities that embed the goals of teachers and students, mediate the problem solving process. Through analysis of successful student responses, we show how dynamic software tools can not only scaffold the solution process but also help students move from argumentation to logical deduction. However, by reference to the work of less successful students, we illustrate how software tools that cannot be programmed to fit the goals of the students may prevent them from expressing their (correct) mathematical ideas and thus impede their problem solution.

Type: Article
Title: Software tools for geometrical problem solving: potentials and pitfalls
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Additional information: The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1515589
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