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Abstract Title: Developing coherence between math and concepts through a Mathematical Sensemaking curriculum
Abstract: Although PER has promoted conceptual learning as a valued instructional goal, competence with calculations and knowledge of concepts still remain distinct in many instructional and assessment paradigms.  In this talk, I will describe the foundational principles of a Mathematical Sensemaking (MS) curriculum designed to build coherence between math and concepts.  I will provide specific examples of how these principles, which include (i) developing conceptual interpretations of equations and (ii) resolving disagreements between intuition, calculations, and concepts, were implemented in a large-lecture, introductory mechanics course.  A comparison to traditionally-taught students on a common final exam will show how MS instruction changed students' problem-solving approaches.  Specifically, MS students were more likely to leverage calculation-concept coherence in their problem solving for increased accuracy and efficiency.  I will end by discussing the implications for what is meant by "sensemaking."
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Math for making sense or math for making answers?

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Eric Kuo
Stanford University