Boxed into a corner: teaching definitions is a tricky business

Jones, Keith (2001) Boxed into a corner: teaching definitions is a tricky business Times Higher Educational Supplement, p.14.


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The (UK) National Numeracy Strategy includes the term 'oblong' in the framework for teaching mathematics to pupils aged 8 and over. This article takes issue with this specification. It argues that the term ‘oblong’ is not mathematical and that its use in mathematics lessons both makes it more difficult for pupils to appreciate that squares are rectangles and undermines the key idea of understanding generalisation in mathematics (when ‘weaker’ concepts are used to generalise towards 'stronger' concepts rather than exclude them).

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0049-3929 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: pedagogy, curriculum, teaching, learning, definition, define, intuition, geometry, intuitive, drawing, measurement, imagining, manipulating, figures, mathematics, England, UK, geometric, geometrical, deductive reasoning, proof, school, national curriculum, Euclid, Euclidean

Organisations: Mathematics, Science & Health Education
ePrint ID: 41386
Date :
Date Event
19 January 2001Published
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 19:02
Further Information:Google Scholar

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