Challenging Students to View the Concept of Area in Triangles in a Broad Context: Exploiting the Features of Cabri-II
This study focuses on the constructions in terms of area and perimeter in equivalent triangles developed by students aged 12–15 years-old, using the tools provided by Cabri-Geometry II [Labore (1990). Cabri-Geometry (software), Université de Grenoble]. Twenty-five students participated in a learning experiment where they were asked to construct: (a) pairs of equivalent triangles “in as many ways as possible” and to study their area and their perimeter using any of the tools provided and (b) “any possible sequence of modifications of an original triangle into other equivalent ones”. As regards the concept of area and in contrast to a paper and pencil environment, Cabri provided students with different and potential opportunities in terms of: (a) means of construction, (b) control, (c) variety of representations and (d) linking representations, by exploiting its capability for continuous modifications. By exploiting these opportunities in the context of the given open tasks, students were helped by the tools provided to develop a broader view of the concept of area than the typical view they would construct in a typical paper and pencil environment.
Keywordsarea and perimeter Cabri-Geometry II conservation of area in triangles educational research problem solving secondary education
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