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Children's Problem Posing Within Formal and Informal Contexts

Lyn D. English 

January 1998, Volume 29, Issue 1, Page 83

Abstract:
This study investigated the problem-posing abilities of third-grade children who displayed different profiles of achievement in number sense and novel problem solving. The study addressed (a) whether children recognize formal symbolism as representing a range of problem situations, (b) whether children generate a broader range of problem types for informal number situations, (c) how children from different achievement profiles respond to problem-posing activities in formal and informal contexts, and (d) whether children's participation in a problem-posing program leads to greater diversity in problems posed. Among the findings were children's difficulties in posing a range of problems in formal contexts, in contrast to informal contexts. Children from different achievement profiles displayed different response patterns, reflected in the balance of structural and operational complexity shown in their problems.