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Middle School Students' Learning of 3D Shapes

Ipek Saralar
University of Nottingham
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 13:00
LSRI labs, Exchange B35a

Teaching middle school students – with drawing tools – to help them improve spatial awareness for the achievement of the curricular goals in 3D geometry is the starting point of this study. This thesis explores a (humble) theory and practice of spatial geometry education. It investigates grade 7 students’ progress by determining factors affecting their learning within the specific context of 3D shapes in the middle schools. It aims to design technology-based solutions to improve those students’ achievement.

The aim of this specific study was to understand factors affecting the seventh-grade students’ learning of 3D geometry when representing 3D shapes constructed from unit cubes in 2D, in order to find possible solutions for increasing their achievement. This study included observations of the naturally occurring phenomenon while students were learning 3D shapes, in addition to interviews for determining the factors affecting students’ learning in Turkish middle school classes.

Students were asked to choose the difficulty of the lessons out of a scale of 1 - 10 and explained factors causing these difficulties, as well as their suggestions to handle these problems in the interviews. It was further investigated the misconceptions of the students in problem solving based reflective interviews, which are mostly based on the worksheets those have been completed by the students prior to interviews. The researcher has further planned to use her field notes to remark the important aspects of 3D shapes so that they will aid her in the reasoning process while designing the authoring tool and activities around it.

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