%0 Journal Article
%J Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
%@ 1305-8215
%V 12
%N 10
%D 2016
%F Meyer2016
%T Flexibly Applying the Distributive Law – Students’ Individual Ways of Perceiving the Distributive Property
%X Background Flexibility in transforming algebraic expressions is recognized as fundamental for a rich procedural knowledge. Here, flexibility in-depth is proposed as the ability to apply one strategy to a wide range of unfamiliar expressions. Material and methods In this study, design experiments with four groups of students were conducted to support students’ flexibility in-depth in regard to the application of the distributive law with the help of worked examples. The data from these experiments was analyzed qualitatively with the method of content analysis. Results Students’ flexibility in-depth translates into their abilities to reconstruct the distributive property within an expression via its perceived relevant structural features. The students’ use individual cornerstones for this reconstruction, for example worked examples or certain focal points in an expression like the multiplication sign. Conclusions Transforming expressions and especially applying formulas to algebraic expressions is thus an interpretative and reconstructive process.
%A Meyer, Alexander
%P 2719-2732
%9 journal article
%R 10.12973/eurasia.2016.1307a
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.12973/eurasia.2016.1307a