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The place of experimental tasks in geometry teaching: learning from the textbook designs of the early 20th century

Fujita, Taro and Jones, Keith (2003) The place of experimental tasks in geometry teaching: learning from the textbook designs of the early 20th century Research in Mathematics Education, 5, (1&2), pp. 47-62. (doi:10.1080/14794800008520114).

Record type: Article


The dual nature of geometry, in that it is a theoretical domain and an area of practical experience, presents mathematics teachers with opportunities and dilemmas. Opportunities exist to link theory with the everyday knowledge of pupils but the dilemmas are that learners very often find the dual nature of geometry a chasm that is very difficult to bridge. With research continuing to focus on understanding the nature of this problem, with a view to developing better pedagogical techniques, this paper examines the place of experimental tasks in the process of learning geometry.

In particular, the paper provides some results from an analysis of innovative geometry textbooks designed in the early part of the 20th Century, a time when significant efforts were being made to improve the teaching and learning of geometry. The analysis suggests that experimental tasks have a vital role to play and that a potent tool for informing the design of such tasks, so that they build effectively on pupils’ geometrical intuition, is the notion of the geometrical eye, a term coined by Charles Godfrey in 1910 as “the power of seeing geometrical properties detach themselves from a figure".

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Published date: 2003
Additional Information: Note that, up to volume 9, this journal has one double issue per year; from volume 10 two individual issues per year began to be published.
Keywords: teaching, learning, pedagogy, curriculum, geometry, geometric, geometrical, mathematics, mathematical, textbooks
Organisations: Mathematics, Science & Health Education


Local EPrints ID: 11247
ISBN: 0952849848
ISSN: 1479-4802
PURE UUID: 4941b2cf-c581-4657-a910-6e1ba851ef32
ORCID for Keith Jones: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 09 Nov 2004
Last modified: 17 Aug 2017 16:31

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