Academic journal article Education

A Program Based on Developmental Mathematics Approach to Develop Higher Order Mathematical Thinking Levels and Mathematics Appreciation for Primary Stage Students

Academic journal article Education

A Program Based on Developmental Mathematics Approach to Develop Higher Order Mathematical Thinking Levels and Mathematics Appreciation for Primary Stage Students

Article excerpt

Introduction

Developmental mathematics approach aims at understanding and simplifying the bases of mathematics and the algebraic concepts and relating them to the concepts of numeracy and geometry and to the student's prior knowledge and experiences; organizing the new knowledge and adding it to the student's cognitive structure to form his/her own concepts; and using this knowledge to comprehend and solve the mathematical problems. Hence, the student learns facts and skills related to the basics of algebra up to the higher levels of algebra and finally reaching competence in solving mathematical problems.

Developmental mathematics approach deals with numbers and their development and hence the student learns all the facts and numerical skills and learns to focus in his/her study and that each mathematical problem has a solution. The teacher in this approach is the guide sharing the student in solving the problem, hence the student can draw a conclusion or reach a solution out of an acquired knowledge or generate new knowledge which is the core of cognitive integration so that the student's knowledge is integrated and coherent as one whole; this is better than a set of unrelated facts and skills.

This approach is popular around the world due to its wide usage in learning environments especially in private learning environment, home learning programs, home schooling communities, self-learning program for acceleration and treatment, and also as an aid for learning and comprehension in the primary and preparatory stages (Khedr, 2011)[18].

The results of some foreign researches such as Shonkwiler's research (2004)[23] indicate that the achievement of university students who were trained in developmental mathematics approach programs in mathematics was higher than that of the students who did not join these programs and studied mathematics in the traditional way. Some researches such as Muller's research (2002) [21] also specified the policies which have a positive effect on the student's success in a developmental mathematics approach program. Other researches such as Webster's (2005) [27] evaluated four methods or strategies used in developmental mathematics approach which are lecture only, computer only, lecture and problem solving, and computer and problem solving. The method which was the most effective in teaching developmental mathematics approach was computer and problem solving in terms of the student's progress in TASP template test. There are researches like Hosseinpour's (2006) [14] which emphasized the effectiveness of using effective teaching strategies in developmental mathematics programs. Other researches including Lang's research (2012) [19] emphasized the effectiveness of developmental mathematics approach programs in raising the students' achievement level in mathematics at the secondary stage which indicated the higher probability of predicting creativity of those students in the instruments of developmental mathematics approach programs. The study recommended that studying developmental mathematics is important for the students to face community work market. The study of Ahmed (2015)[3] also emphasized the effectiveness of developmental mathematics approach in developing the achievement and motivation of preparatory stage students in mathematics.

Tussy & Gustafson (2001)[25] specified a group of bases for developmental mathematics approach in their book directed to educational departments university students including blending between traditional and modern approaches; an accurate coverage of the basics of numeracy and a deep coverage of geometry; integration among numeracy, algebra, and geometry; spiral approach (for example, rules of arithmetic operations on natural numbers are revised several times to be applied on integers (positive numbers)); connections (business, industry, history, art, delight, and entertainment); applications in mathematics (since the branches of mathematics are used in understanding each other); developing the ability to solve problems (using strategies derived from Polya's problem solving steps); presenting solutions to problems with the help of designing flowcharts, tables, and diagrams; developing estimation with the help of hand calculations when necessary; and using colorful and technological visual aids to facilitate learning and develop visual thinking. …

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