Rule Discovering and Justification in
Magthematical Problem Solving Activities with Spreadsheet
HongChan Son
Heechan Lew
Mathematics Education Korea national University of Education South Korea
Abstract
Mathematical modeling activities carry significance
in that they offer students the experience of discovering and constructing
their own mathematical knowledge, and in that they help students realize
the applicability and necessity of mathematics. Generally modeling activities
start from reallife situations, and therefore naturally accompany a great
deal of complicated calculation and the discovery of patterns or rules
implied within certain situations in order to understand and predict the
problem situation. In such cases spreadsheet could be usefully used.
Not only is spreadsheet easy to use, but it can also provoke studentcentered,
discoverycentered learning. In the course of utilizing spreadsheet, the
interaction between fellow students, teacher and student, and computer
and student becomes active, and as students are enabled to design and
manipulate more dynamic and visual spreadsheet models they are also able
to explore diverse aspects of a phenomenon.
Such distinctive features of spreadsheet serve as significant factors
when students are carrying out modeling activities in small groups. When
spreadsheet is used such mathematical models as tables and graphs that
are necessary in carrying out modeling activities can be easily constructed,
and they are also conducive in enhancing the user's intuition in developing
and using algorithms and models necessary for solving mathematical problems.
In particular, the cell reference function of spreadsheet that when the
value of referred cell is changed then the value in a cell in reference
is changed and, consequently the related table and graph also are changed,
makes students' exploration of a problem situation slightly more complicated
and dynamic.
The present study attempts to look into how students discover rules inherent
in problem situations and how they mathematically justify such discovery
in modeling activities using spreadsheet.
