Friday, April 27, 2018 Colloquium: Two Directed Research Presentations
Brianna Bentley: College Students' Understanding of Fractions
Many college students struggle with problems involving fractions. I will discuss what misunderstandings persist from elementary grades, the reliance on algorithms and how this reliance affects student understanding, and how student procedural knowledge of fraction operations vastly outweighs their conceptual knowledge. I will also consider some findings recognized in the literature and one finding transcending the literature of the field.
Katie Bowman: Gender Differences in Cognitive Processes in Problem Solving
Understanding the cognitive processes employed by students in problem solving is of practical importance. Further, it is important that there is an understanding of consistencies and differences in these problem-solving processes. This study investigated differences in cognitive processes in mathematical problem solving and whether the differences can be ascribed to gender. Investigations of gender and problem solving tend to focus on problem completion in terms of success or failure without dissecting the process by which they navigated the problem. The result of the study suggests that more data needs to be collected before gendered statements can be made about any similarities or differences in these processes. Although some differences were seen when comparing genders, there were also some noted consistencies. The findings of this study also provide implications that students who have completed higher level mathematics courses do not necessarily exhibit higher level problem-solving skills.