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Youngsters Solving Mathematical Problems with Technology

Susana Carreira, Keith Jones, Nélia Amado, Hélia Jacinto, and Sandra Nobre
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
Mathematical Education in the Digital Era
[Reviewed by
Charles Ashbacher
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This book is an extensive summary/report of a three year project where schoolchildren were given problems to solve outside the usual classroom problems. What is unique about this project is that the points of study were how the problems were solved using digital technologies of the students’ own selection, personal access and familiarity. In general, mathematical software was not used, the only significant exception was the geometry package GeoGebra. More general tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint were the primary software tools and in many cases, they were no more than the means used to report their results.

The content of the book covers the complete spectrum of analytical points, from theoretical/philosophical explanations based on the “problem-solving process as a synchronous process of mathematisation and of expressing mathematical thinking” to some images of the problems and the solutions that were submitted.

The current generation of young students are often working on computers/handhelds from the moment that their level of motor skills and understanding allows it. Since the solution tactics and equipment used are generally free-choice, this study is invaluable in giving modern mathematical educators insights into adapting modern pedagogical techniques to reflect how young people solve problems.

While there may be few educators that will be interested in every section of this collection, all will find something that they can use to improve the effectiveness of their teaching. 

Charles Ashbacher splits his time between consulting with industry in projects involving math and computers, and teaching college classes. In his spare time, he reads about these things and helps his daughter in her lawn care business.

See the table of contents in the publisher's webpage.