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  • Regula falsi in lower secondary school education II

    The aim of this paper is to investigate the pupils' word problem solving strategies in lower secondary school education. Students prior experiences with solving word problems by arithmetic methods can create serious difficulties in the transition from arithmetic to algebra. The arithmetical methods are mainly based on manipulation with numbers. When pupils are faced with the methods of algebra they often have difficulty in formulating algebraic equations to represent the information given in word problems. Their troubles are manifested in the meaning they give to the unknown, their interpretation what an equation is, and the methods they choose to set up and solve equations. Therefore they mainly use arithmetical and numerical checking methods to solve word problems. In this situation it is necessary to introduce alternative methods which make the transition from arithmetic to algebra more smooth. In the following we will give a detailed presentation of the false position method. In our opinion this method is useful in the lower secondary school educational processes, especially to reduce the great number of random trial-and-error problem solving attempts among the lower secondary school pupils. We will also show the results of some problem solving activities among grade 6-8 pupils. We analysed their problem solving strategies and we compared our findings with the results of other research works.

    Subject Classification: 97-03, 97-11, 97B10, 97B50, 97D40, 97F10, 97H10, 97H20, 97H30, 97N10, 97N20

  • The transition problem in Hungary: curricular approach

    The curricular background of the transition problem from highschool to universty is analysed in Hungary. While students finish their mathematical studies successfully at highschool, pass their final exams, this knowledge seems to disappear at their first year at university. We investigate the mathematical knowledge expected by the Hungarian universities and compare it to expectations of the National Core Curriculum. Based on the levelling tests of four universities we created a seven problem test for highschool students containing very basic problems required both by the universities and the National Core Curriculum. We analyse the results of the test.

    Subject Classification: D34, D35