Number Theory in Mathematics Education: Perspectives and Prospects

1st Edition

Rina Zazkis, Stephen R. Campbell

Routledge
Published March 21, 2006
Reference - 304 Pages
ISBN 9780805854084 - CAT# ER8561
Series: Studies in Mathematical Thinking and Learning Series

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Summary

This book offers multiple interconnected perspectives on the largely untapped potential of elementary number theory for mathematics education: its formal and cognitive nature, its relation to arithmetic and algebra, its accessibility, its utility and intrinsic merits, to name just a few. Its purpose is to promote explication and critical dialogue about these issues within the international mathematics education community. The studies comprise a variety of pedagogical and research orientations by an international group of researchers that, collectively, make a compelling case for the relevance and importance of number theory in mathematics education in both pre K-16 settings and mathematics teacher education.

Topics variously engaged include:
*understanding particular concepts related to numerical structure and number theory;
*elaborating on the historical and psychological relevance of number theory in concept development;
*attaining a smooth transition and extension from pattern recognition to formative principles;
*appreciating the aesthetics of number structure;
*exploring its suitability in terms of making connections leading to aha! insights and reaching toward the learner's affective domain;
*reexamining previously constructed knowledge from a novel angle;
*investigating connections between technique and theory;
*utilizing computers and calculators as pedagogical tools; and
*generally illuminating the role number theory concepts could play in developing mathematical knowledge and reasoning in students and teachers.

Overall, the chapters of this book highlight number theory-related topics as a stepping-stone from arithmetic toward generalization and algebraic formalism, and as a means for providing intuitively grounded meanings of numbers, variables, functions, and proofs.

Number Theory in Mathematics Education: Perspectives and Prospects is of interest to researchers, teacher educators, and students in the field of mathematics education, and is well suited as a text for upper-level mathematics education courses.

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