Adults Reasoning Combinatorially



In the preceding chapters of this book, we have provided considerable evidence showing elementary and secondary school students’ success in solving open-ended problems, over time, under conditions that encouraged critical thinking. In this chapter, we address the question as to whether similar results can be achieved by liberal-arts college students within a well-implemented curriculum that includes a strand of connected problems to be solved over the course of the semester. From a perspective of conceptualizing reasoning in terms of solving open-ended problems, it was of interest to learn whether students in a liberal-arts college mathematics course could be successful in providing arguments to support their reasoning and in making connections in a problem-solving-based curriculum.


Inductive Argument Mathematics Class Green Pepper Staircase Pattern Doubling Pattern 
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  1. Maher, C. A., & Martino, A. M. (2000). From patterns to theories: Conditions for conceptual change. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 19, 247–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Schoenfeld, A. H. (1989). Explorations of students’ mathematical beliefs and behavior. Journal of Research in Mathematics Education, 20(4), 338–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sussex County Community CollegeNewtonUSA

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