Reflective Response to Transfer of Mathematic Knowledge: Series Essay

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Ellen Moorer
Advanced Educational Psychology
Module 4 Assignment
November 29, 2012

Reflective Response to “Transfer of Mathematical Knowledge: Series”
During the 2009-2010 school year, 97 third graders where observed and studied by a team of research from the University of Ataturk, Erzurum to who and to what degree are students successful at transferring mathematical knowledge to problem for real like situations and experiences. Publishing their findings in the article “Transfer of Mathematical Knowledge: Series”, the researchers developed and assessed the sample students’ mathematical knowledge and abilities using two test – the Problem Solving Test (PST) and Series Character Identification. Based on the data analyzed from the test, the study yielded results showing it was difficult for students to transform and interpret real life problems to series (2012). The chief reasons for students failing to form conceptual knowledge are frequent application of the formulae in a careless way, the failure to draw its relationship with other concepts, and misconceptions about the concept of infinity. I found of interest the researchers’ findings when they analyzed the results of the PST. The PST consisted of four questions. The PST results concluded that students had difficult answering the first and second questions that required transferring the problem situation to series, identifying their characters and interpreting the result but less difficult solving the third and fourth problems which require only transferring the problem situation to series and identifying their characters (2012).
Although the article studied and presented results of third grade students, I found the data and suggestions of the researchers to be applicable to the adult basic education learners. The article’s researchers stated, “Conceptual knowledge does not only consist of recognizing the concept or knowing the definition and the name of the concept, but at the same time, having the ability to recognize the mutual transitions and relationships among the concepts. Procedural knowledge is explained with the two separate sections that form it.” ( Reflecting on my experience as an adult basic education instructor, I have come to notice mathematics is often the weakest subject area among my adult students. I did struggle to connect teaching mathematics with experiencing mathematics. I would teach lessons through direct-instruction and guided practice, and exclude the fact that they have real life experiences with using mathematics to solve everyday situations (i.e. measuring