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Introductory (graphical) linear programming in the senior secondary school : an action research study of some cognitive obstacles to its learning and an evaluation of a teaching approach designed to reduce the effect of these cognitive obstacles

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White, Kevin M A (1995) Introductory (graphical) linear programming in the senior secondary school : an action research study of some cognitive obstacles to its learning and an evaluation of a teaching approach designed to reduce the effect of these cognitive obstacles. Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This action research study, in two parts, investigates the difficulties experienced by senior
secondary (Year 12) students in learning to solve by graphical means linear programming problems
involving two decision variables. Herscovics' (1989) term "cognitive obstacle" is introduced as
describing either a mental structure which prevents the learning of new material or the structure of
the material itself which prevents it from being readily assimilated. The aim of the first part of the
study is to determine possible cognitive obstacles to the learning of linear programming. The aim
of the second part is to evaluate a teaching programme designed to alleviate these cognitive
obstacles. It is found that the teaching programme used, based around a set of specific heuristics, is
partially successful. It is suggested that key factors in solving linear programming problems include:
the ability to comprehend problem statements, the ability to express variables and constraints on
variables in mathematical terms and the ability to conceive of literal symbols as representing
numbers, rather than as objects. Various ideas for teaching and research are recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Coursework Master)
Keywords: Linear programming, Cognitive learning, Cognitive styles
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1995 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Ed.St.)--University of Tasmania, 1995. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 23:23
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:55
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