In this study, a group of students were presented with two mathematically isomorphic problems but in radically different contexts. Analysis of their thinking and reasoning as they worked to solve and explain each problem demonstrates that the thinking and reasoning that emerged in each problem responded to clear purposes that the problems elicited in these students. The first problem was posed in a context that relied on experience and intuition rather than a formal mathematical description. The second problem was posed in a formal, set-theoretic context. While the analysis offered here reveals similarities in the students' final reasoning in the two contexts, it brings to light major differences between the purposes, choices, and reasoning in both contexts.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Gigger, Danielle L., "One Problem, Two Contexts" (2007). All Theses and Dissertations. 1057.
mathematics, education, proof, context