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Τwo different types of technologically enhanced intervention modules to support early algebraic thinking

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This study investigated the role of online applets in early algebra lessons. The effect of two different types of intervention modules on developing students’ early algebraic thinking abilities was compared. The first intervention module involved the use of open applets and real-life contexts (open-real). The second intervention module involved the use of closed applets and pure mathematics contexts (closed/pure). “Open” applets are considered to promote more explorative ways of working with mathematical ideas, whereas “closed” applets are considered to guide students’ ways of working through more sequential, step-by-step approaches. Real-life contexts present everyday applications of mathematics, where pure mathematics contexts focus on the mathematical concepts and procedures, with no reference to the way they could be associated with real-life situations. Nevertheless, both intervention modules followed an inquiry-based approach. The total number of the participants were 96 young students of Grade 5 with an average age of 10,5 years old. These students were tested through a pre- and a post-test on early algebraic thinking. The test involved three categories of early algebra tasks: generalized arithmetic, functional thinking, and modeling languages. Data from the pre- and post-test comparison showed that students who participated in the “open/real” module had a statistically significant higher improvement in functional thinking compared to students who participated in the “closed/pure” module. There were no statistically significant differences between the improvement of the two groups of students in generalized arithmetic and modeling languages. These findings offer pedagogical implications in respect to the design of early algebra lessons that take advantage of the affordances of available educational technology.
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Vol.:(0123456789)
Education and Information Technologies
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-022-11331-x
1 3
Τwo different types oftechnologically enhanced
intervention modules tosupport early algebraic thinking
MariaChimoni1 · DemetraPitta‑Pantazi1· ConstantinosChristou1
Received: 8 March 2022 / Accepted: 5 September 2022
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
2022
Abstract
This study investigated the role of online applets in early algebra lessons. The effect
of two different types of intervention modules on developing students’ early alge-
braic thinking abilities was compared. The first intervention module involved the
use of open applets and real-life contexts (open-real). The second intervention mod-
ule involved the use of closed applets and pure mathematics contexts (closed/pure).
“Open” applets are considered to promote more explorative ways of working with
mathematical ideas, whereas “closed” applets are considered to guide students’ ways
of working through more sequential, step-by-step approaches. Real-life contexts pre-
sent everyday applications of mathematics, where pure mathematics contexts focus
on the mathematical concepts and procedures, with no reference to the way they
could be associated with real-life situations. Nevertheless, both intervention mod-
ules followed an inquiry-based approach. The total number of the participants were
96 young students of Grade 5 with an average age of 10,5 years old. These stu-
dents were tested through a pre- and a post-test on early algebraic thinking. The
test involved three categories of early algebra tasks: generalized arithmetic, func-
tional thinking, and modeling languages. Data from the pre- and post-test compari-
son showed that students who participated in the “open/real” module had a statis-
tically significant higher improvement in functional thinking compared to students
who participated in the “closed/pure” module. There were no statistically significant
differences between the improvement of the two groups of students in generalized
arithmetic and modeling languages. These findings offer pedagogical implications in
respect to the design of early algebra lessons that take advantage of the affordances
of available educational technology.
Keywords Early algebra· Early math· Online applets· Algebra content strands·
Inquiry-based learning· Intervention modules
* Maria Chimoni
chimoni.m@cyearn.pi.ac.cy
Extended author information available on the last page of the article
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
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