but it does not constitute the major goal of the enterprise. Like problems about quantities in ordinary activity, problems in mathematics arise in a larger context that makes them meaningful. We could refocus our research effort toward problem solving in broader contexts, including the study of abilities of individuals to reason about quantities in situations they can understand. I have presented some preliminary findings from some research that I hope will contribute to that goal.
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, grant BNS-8718918. This paper is based in part on an invited plenary presentation at the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, given at Northern Illinois University in 1988 and published in the proceedings of that meeting.
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