Using Content-Specific Open-Ended Tasks
This chapter explains the ways that open-ended tasks might contribute to learning, it gives the details of a specific open-ended task and how it might be used in a “lesson”, it indicates the challenges that teachers may experience when using such tasks, it presents a range of examples of this type of task to illustrate the scope and nature of the tasks, and it summarises some research on teachers’ reactions to the tasks. The fundamental argument is that such tasks are accessible by students, able to be used readily by teachers, foster a range of mathematical actions, and contribute to some of the important goals of learning mathematics.
- Boaler, J. (2002). Experiencing school mathematics: Traditional and reform approaches to teaching and their impact on student learning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Desforges, C., & Cockburn, A. (1987). Understanding the mathematics teacher: A study of practice in first schools. London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
- Leung, S. S. (1998). On the open-ended nature of mathematical problem solving. In E. Pehkonen (Ed.), Use of open-ended problems in mathematics classrooms (pp. 26–35). Helsinki: Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki.Google Scholar
- Sullivan, P. (1999). Seeking a rationale for particular classroom tasks and activities. In J. M. Truran & K. N. Truran (Eds.) Making the difference **(Proceedings of the 21st annual conference of the Mathematics Educational Research Group of Australasia, pp. 15–29). Adelaide: MERGA.Google Scholar
- Watson, A., & Sullivan, P. (2008). Teachers learning about tasks and lessons. In D. Tirosh & T. Wood (Eds.), Tools and resources in mathematics teacher education (pp. 109–135). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
- Wiliam, D. (1998, July). Open beginnings and open ends. Paper distributed at the Open-Ended Questions Discussion Group, International Conference for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Stellenbosch, South Africa.Google Scholar