You are on page 1of 108

Title

Author(s)

A study of schema and cognitive models in teaching and


learning geometry

Hui, See-ming;

Citation

Issued Date

URL

Rights

2015

http://hdl.handle.net/10722/223648

The author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights)


and the right to use in future works.

A study of schema and cognitive models in teaching and


learning geometry
!
By!
!
Hui!See!Ming!
!
!
This!work!is!submitted!to!
Faculty!of!Education!of!The!University!of!Hong!Kong!
In!partial!fulfillment!of!the!requirements!for!
The!Master!of!Education!(Mathematics!Education)!
!
August!2015!
!
Supervisor:!Mr.!Arthur!Lee!

Declaration+
!
I,!Hui!See!Ming,!declare!that!this!dissertation!represents!my!own!work!and!that!it!
has!not!been!submitted!to!this!or!other!institution!in!application!for!a!degree,!
diploma!or!any!other!qualifications.!
I, Hui See Ming, also declare that I have read and understand the guideline on What
is plagiarism? published by The University of Hong Kong (available at
http://www.hku.hk/plagiarism/) and that all parts of this work complies with the
guideline.
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Candidate:!Hui!See!Ming!
!
!
!
Signature:!_______________________________________!
!
Date:!30!August!2015!

ii!

Acknowledgement
I would like to express my sincere thanks to my supervisor, Mr Arthur Lee for his
guidance throughout my study. From time to time he gives clear direction and
support for me to move ahead and explore different areas in the study. His invaluable
advices are very important to me in completing this dissertation.
Moreover, I would like to thanks Dr Ida Mok, Prof Frederick Leung and Mr Wong Ka
Lok for their excellent instructions throughout the master programme.

Their

teachings and sharing give solid foundation and inspiration to my work. It is a really
pleasant and exciting journey to pursue the study and complete the dissertation here.

iii!

Abstract of dissertation entitled

A study of schema and cognitive models in teaching and


learning geometry

Submitted by Hui See Ming


For the degree of Master of Education (Mathematics Education)
At The University of Hong Kong in August 2015

The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of schema and cognitive models in
teaching and learning geometry. Differences in schema structure and problem solving
behavior for different ability levels will be analyzed. In this study I will also introduce
some instructional design strategies based on the findings. There are three parts in
this paper: The pre-test, the instructional design and the post-test. In the pre-test there
are two groups of higher secondary school students high achievers group and low
achievers group participating in a test with different kinds of geometric problem
about properties of circle. Questions are designed to test language ability, cognitive
loads, problem solving style and generative ability in problem solving. An openended question is set to investigate the schema difference for high and low achievers
through an analysis by solution path diagram. Results show that high achievers
organize their knowledge with structured schema and demonstrate a higher generative
ability. In the instructional design part I will present some strategies such as diagram!

iv!

text integrated teaching to help students overcoming limits of cognitive loads. In the
post-test part, low achievers show significant improvements in solving geometric
problems after attending the class that is carefully designed with strategies mentioned
in the previous part. The effectiveness of instructional design will be evaluated.

v!

Table of Content
Introduction

Literature Review

Research Questions and Design

22

Part 1: Understanding the role of cognitive models in learning

25

Geometry
Methodology

26

Result & Discussion (Open-ended Question)

32

Result & Discussion (Other parts)

40

Part 2: Instructional Design and Evaluation

47

The Design strategies

48

Result & Discussion

59

Conclusion

64

Appendix

70

Reference

98

vi!

Introduction
As an interdisciplinary study of human mind and thinking, cognitive science
contributes a lot to the understanding of learning processes.

Especially for the

process in learning mathematics, cognitive science helps teachers to move further


from traditional classroom instructional design. For example, the idea of schema
(Bartlett, 1932; DiMaggio 1997, Chinnappan, 1998) provided a very useful structure
for how our students organized their knowledge and how to make use of them in
solving problem. Sweller (1988) proposed the cognitive load theory that bridges
cognitive psychology and instructional design.
The role of schema in teaching and learning geometry
Everything we experience in this world affect how we build up our knowledge, and
our knowledge are not simply stored in our memory, but organized and associated
with each other in a meaningful way. This organization is called schema, which was
first introduced by Piaget (Piaget, 1952) as a cohesive, repeatable action sequence
possessing component actions that are tightly interconnected and governed by a core
meaning. This guides us in the process of retrieving information, and also affects how
we process and accept new information.
A schema is an organized pattern of thought that contains categories of information
and relationship between them (DiMaggio, 1997). It influences the processing and
utilization of knowledge, also it influences attention and absorption of new
knowledge.
When things fit into their schema, people are more likely to pay attention to and
notice them.
In problem solving, a schema can provide a shortcut to solution.

1!

In learning mathematics, when students acquire new knowledge like mathematical


concepts, principles, and procedures, they organize these into schemas that provide
the knowledge base for further mathematical activity.
For example, a student can associate the words centre with different theorems like
angles at a point, angle at centre twice angle at circumference, radius, isosceles
triangles etc. We can call this a centre schema.

+
+
+
+

Angles!at!a!point!

Isosceles!
Triangle!

+
+

Angle!at!centre!twice!angle!
at!circumference!

Centre!

Radius!

+
Figure+1:+Centre+Schema+

Even a single theorem in geometry can be considered as a schema. For example like
Angle at centre twice angle at circumference, one do not just store the name in his
mind. The theorem name is connected with different patterns of diagrams, properties
like subtended by the same arc and also some non-examples.

2!

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
Angles!subtended!
+
by!an!arc!
+
+
+

Name:!Angle!at!centre!twice!
angle!at!circumference!

If!both!angles!are!at!centre!or!
circumference,!other!schemas!can!be!
activated!

+
+
+
+
+

NonTexamples!

Figure+2:+Angle+at+centre+twice+angle+at+circumference+Schema+

+
!

The organization quality of these schema and the extent to which they connected with
each other, determines the quality of schema structure and how well a student can
solve problems, how well he can retrieve and use information, and how well he can
accept new information.

3!

The importance to overcome the limitation of working memory


Another aspects affecting students learning is about our memory system. Human
memory system can be separated into short term and long term memory. The limited
capacity of working memory is used in our conscious thinking and is critical for
information processing. In solving geometric problems, students often need to tackle
a lot of information that leads to retrieval of related theorems from long-term memory.
Structure of knowledge in long-term memory determines the effective processing and
retrieval of such information.

Therefore, in the learning process, formation of

schema in students mind is very critical, which determines the problem solving
ability in future. Moreover, since working memory is very limited, teachers should
pay efforts to reduce the loading. Cognitive load theory is proposed by Sweller (1988)
which provides a framework in understanding these kinds of working memory
loading.

Cognitive load theory a model for effective instructional design


Cognitive load theory suggests that cognitive load occurs in learning and information
processing. Among the various types of cognitive loads, extraneous cognitive load is
under the control of instructional designer (Sweller, 1988).

Teachers should pay

attention to eliminate working memory load associated with unnecessary processing


of information.

For example, in teaching geometric problems, how to integrate

statements and steps with the diagram is a technique to reduce such loads.

4!

In this paper, I will focus on understanding the role of schema and some cognitive
models including the cognitive load theory in teaching and learning geometry. By
analyzing the results, I will also propose some instructional strategies in geometry
with the consideration of certain cognitive models. For example: demonstration of
geometric theorems by visualized analogy to overcome working memory limitation, a
schema approach with mastery learning to build up students conceptual model for
solving geometric problems, mistakes tempting as a correction process for schema
building, the inspiration of cognitive load theory in the teaching process, expanding
schema and enhancing creativity by the use of open-ended questions. Pre-test and
post-test will be carried out by asking a sample of secondary schools students to solve
a set of geometry problems. By interviewing these students about their thinking
during the process of solving an open-ended question, association and elaboration of
schema in their mind will be analyzed. I will propose a special method Solution
Path Analysis to unfold students deep-level thinking in their problem-solving
process.

5!

Literature Review
PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS
In the problem solving process, the solver forms representations of the problem,
which consist of information that is active in working memory and some external
representations such as a diagram on paper. These representations activate knowledge
of word problems stored in long-term memory, which in turn invokes associated
solution process in the current situation. In this process, the solver will search the
problem space, which consists of the initial, intermediate and goal states. Finally the
success of the solution is evaluated. (George, Ellen D., 1993)
However, processing of information occurs within our working memory that is very
limited (Baddeley, 1992). Very few information can be processed at one time. To
overcome this limitation during instruction, we should try to reduce cognitive load
during instruction and also build up effective schema for learners.

SCHEMA
Schema was first introduced by Bartlett (1932). He described the changes in memory
over a period of time as tending to be more approximate to the familiar. Previous
experience acted to organize further experiences. DiMaggio (1997) suggested a more
recent definition of schema. He defined schema to be an organized pattern of thought
that contains categories of information and the relationships among them. Schema is
also defined as a cognitive construct through which one treats multiple sub-elements
of information as a single one, categorized in a manner that it will be used (Kalyuga
et.al., 1998) It has two main functions: first, learnt information can be stored in longterm memory in a categorized way for easy retrieval; second, it reduces the loads on
working memory by treating multiple elements as a single one.

6!

According to Sweller (1998), the contents of long-term memory are "sophisticated


structures that permit us to perceive, think, and solve problems," but not a group of
rote learned facts. We are able to treat multiple elements as a single one by these
structures, known as schemas, which are the cognitive structures that build up the
knowledge base. Through a lifetime of learning, we build up our schemas that may
contain also other schemas.
Expert and novice are very different in the way of their use of schema. Learning
requires a change in the schema and memory. Through the change, performance can
progress from clumsy, error-prone, slow and difficult to smooth and effortless. The
performance change is due to the fact that someone becomes increasingly familiar
with the material, the schema associated with the material are then altered in a way
that it can be handled more efficiently by working memory.
In solving a problem, schema can be retrieved from long-term memory either in
automated form or with conscious consideration of elements and their relations. In
the automated form, since it makes limited demands on working memory resources,
therefore more resources can be allocated to search for a possible problem solution.
To a further extent, if there exists an automated schema incorporating the problem
solution in long-term memory, it can be transferred to working memory and provide
the solution easily and smoothly.
Another understanding of it is a mental structure of preconceived ideas. It can
influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge. When things fit into their
schema, people are more likely to pay attention to and notice them. People have a
tendency to maintain the schema unchanged. When contradictions appear, people
tend to re-interpret and distort them to fit into the schema.

Schema can provide a

7!

shortcut to solution. New perceptions can be organized into schemata quickly, which
is automatic. DiMaggio (1997) suggested that people are more likely to perceive
information that is germane to existing schemata, recall schematically embedded
information more quickly and accurately, but on the other hand may falsely recall
schematically embedded events that did not occur.
In mathematics learning, schema affects directly the organizational quality of students
prior knowledge and the use of that knowledge during problem solving. As organised
knowledge structures, schemas guide both information acceptance and retrieval, and
their subsequent use. When students acquire mathematical concepts, principles, and
procedures, they organise these into schemas which provide the knowledge base for
further mathematical activity such as problem exploration and classification
(Chinnappan M., 1998). Resnick and Ford (1981) pointed out that failure to activate
and apply prior knowledge is due to the poor quality of their mathematical knowledge
base, which can be constructed as a consequence of teacher and other interventions. A
knowledge base, which in my term here referring the schema, that is well-organized
or integrated can facilitate the access of relevant information and also deploying of
those information in the search for a problem solution. Similar ideas were raised by
Nesher and Herschkovitz (1994) in their research on students tackling word problems.
In Chinnappan M. (1998) research on the mental models in geometry problem solving,
he shared the same viewpoint that organizational quality of the knowledge in the
long-term memory could either enhance or impede the activation of that knowledge
during performance.

He examined the problem-solving episodes of high-school

students. The way he visualized geometric schemas was to look for key concepts that
anchor other concepts. Organisation and spread are the two key characteristics he

8!

identifies for geometric schema. Organisation refers to the establishment of


connections between ideas, and spread refers to the extent of those connections. A
high degree of organisation and spread can mean a sophisticate schema.
The aims of his study was first to identify the geometric schemas that students bring
to a problem-solving task, second to determine the frequency with which these are
activated, and third to generate a description about the nature of the mental models
students construct during the course of problem solution. How these knowledge
components differed between low- and high-achieving students were examined. The
hypothesis was that the high-achievers would be more likely to activate more
sophisticated geometric schemas, access these more frequently, and would generate
mental models which indicate a high degree of structural understanding of the given
problem than students from the low-achieving group. The results provided support
for the hypothesis.
In another research conducted by Lawson and Cinnappan (Lawson M.J., Chinnappan
M., 1994), they compared the problem-solving performance in solving geometry
problems for groups of high achievers and low achievers. They found that high
achievers not only can access a greater body of geometrical knowledge, but also use
that knowledge more effectively. They can also activate more task-related knowledge.
Low achievers can access a relatively smaller body of functionally available
knowledge and less effective in activating knowledge that can develop a solution.
Concerning about more difficult problems, high achievers also generate more
information and further use them to access further relevant knowledge.

SPLIT ATTENTION EFFECT

9!

Many conventional formats of instructional design involve ineffective activities.


Chandler and Sweller (1992) points out the split-attention effect in instructional
design. As a result of poor instructional design, learners are sometimes forced to split
their attention between multiple sources of information, therefore a heavy extraneous
cognitive load is imposed and hinder the learning process. To reduce the working
memory load, some integration of information sources may be desirable.
CONCEPTRUAL VS PROCEDURAL
Byrnes & Wasik (1991) defined conceptual knowledge as the core concepts for a
domain and their interrelations. It can be characterized as using several different
constructs such as semantic nets, hierarchies, and mental models. Procedural
knowledge is the knowledge of the steps required to attain various goals. It can be
characterized as using constructs such as skills, strategies, productions, and
interiorized actions. They suggested the dynamic interaction view that conceptual
knowledge is both necessary and sufficient for correct use of procedures.

For

example, if high levels of conceptual knowledge exist, procedures will be performed


correctly. On another hand, if level of conceptual knowledge is low, procedures will
be performed incorrectly.

Anderson's (1983) ACT theory suggested that new procedures are learned in the
following ways. Firstly, a rich conceptual knowledge base and examples together with
general problem-solving heuristics, new procedures for a specific task are developed.
Then it comes to the discrimination and generalization processes. Feedback from the
environment is taken into accounts in reducing the incidence of over- or undergeneralization. Then a process known as "proceduralization" takes place. In this

10!

process procedures become fluid and automatic. Expertise will be the result. Initially
conceptual knowledge will not be retrieved as it would be inefficient to do so.
Inhelder and Piaget (1980) suggested that conceptual and procedural knowledge
affect each other diachronically, not synchronically. Although conceptual knowledge
constructs new procedural knowledge, the application of procedures sometimes
produces outcomes that need to be explained.

In return, conceptual knowledge

always needs to be enriched.

COGNITIVE LOAD THEORY


Proposed by Sweller (1988), the cognitive load theory suggests that learning happens
best under conditions that are aligned with human cognitive architecture. Recognizing
Miller's (1956) information processing research showing that short term memory is
limited in the number of elements it can contain simultaneously, Sweller (1988)
builds a theory that treats schemas, or combinations of elements, as the cognitive
structures that make up an individual's knowledge base.

He further suggests that

information and activities during instruction should be structured to reduce load on


working memory and maximize the acquisition of automated schemas.
From an instructional perspective, information contained in instructional material
must first be processed by working memory. For schema acquisition to occur,
instruction should be designed to reduce working memory load. Cognitive load theory
is concerned with techniques for reducing working memory load in order to facilitate
the changes in long term memory associated with schema acquisition.
Related to the design of instructional material, there are several points to note. It is

11!

suggested that problem solving methods should avoid means-ends approaches that
impose a heavy working memory load. Problem solving methods by using goal-free
problems or worked examples are encouraged. Moreover, working memory load
associated with having to mentally integrate several sources of information should be
eliminated.

Integrating those sources of information is one of the solutions.

Unnecessarily processing repetitive information should also be avoided. By using


auditory as well as visual information under conditions where both sources of
information are essential to understanding can also increase working memory
efficiency.
John Swellers paper Implications of Cognitive Load Theory for Multimedia
Learning describes the human cognitive architecture. Instructional design principles
should be applied according to our knowledge of the brain and memory. Sweller
describes the different types of memory and how they are interrelated. Schema is the
central executive that directly affects the manner in which information is
synthesized in working memory. If schemas are absent, instructors must provide a
way for learners to develop their own schemas.
Sweller suggests three types of cognitive load, namely extraneous cognitive load,
intrinsic cognitive load and germane cognitive load.
A. Intrinsic cognitive load
First described by Chandler and Sweller, intrinsic cognitive load is the idea that all
instruction has an inherent difficulty associated with it. Instructor may not be able to
alter this inherent difficulty. However through breaking down schemas into individual
subschemas and taught separately, they can be brought back together and described
as a combined whole in later stage.
B. Extraneous cognitive load

12!

Extraneous

cognitive

load,

by

contrast,

is

controllable

by

instructional

designers. Extraneous cognitive load is generated by the way in which information is


presented to learners. For example, in teaching the relationship between arcs and
angles, instructors can describe the relationship verbally or simply draw a diagram.
Undoubtedly the former one imposes difficulties for the learner as there exist
extraneous and unnecessary information.
C. Germane cognitive load
Germane load is a third kind of cognitive load that should be promoted. Germane
load is the load dedicated to the processing, construction and automation of schemas.
It is suggested that instructional designers should limit extraneous load and promote
germane load.
Extraneous cognitive load and intrinsic cognitive load come from inappropriate
instructional designs and complexity of information. On another hand, germane
cognitive load is effective cognitive load for successful schema construction. These
loads are additive. To free up working memory, instructional designers should reduce
extraneous cognitive load and focus on helping students to construct proper schemas.

HUMAN MEMORY SYSTEM


Magical Number 7 plus or minus 2 the number of elements we can remember. An
element can be a digit, a letter, a word etc. Without good organization, our memory
system is poor (Miller, 1956). Working memory, or sometimes call short-term
memory, is our conscious thinking and is very limited. Unless we are able to refresh
them by rehearsal and put them in long-time memory, they will remain for only a few
seconds. Processing information may involve contrasting, comparing, combining,
relating or working on elements in some ways.

13!

While students are facing new rules, theorems or equations in topics like geometry,
they may understand the rules by traditional instruction, but to help them to solve a
problem efficiently, both the rules and the characteristics of problem must be held and
manipulated in working memory. With a limitation of working memory, mechanisms
to circumvent it are necessary.

Long term memory has no consciousness. We only aware of those things stored in
the long term memory only if they are brought down into working memory. However
it is not a passive store. In the game of chess, chess master (Groot, 1966) seems able
to look ahead more moves than less capable players, but actually the finding is not.
His skills come from the cognitive change by accumulating many general board
configurations with appropriate moves associated with each configuration. He can
store as many as 100000 board configurations.

Difference between experts and

novices lies in their knowledge of problem states. Long term memory is not simply a
repository of rote learning facts. It contains sophisticated structures that permit us to
perceive, think and solve problems.

DUAL PROCESS THEORY


In the paper by Leron and Hazzan (1996), they try to apply cognitive psychology
model to help interpreting empirical results from mathematics education. The theory
under study is the Dual-process theory our Cognition and behavior work in parallel
in two different modes, namely System 1 (S1) and System 2 (S2), which are
corresponding to something like intuitive and analytical thinking. They operate in
different ways and are activated by different parts of the brain. Properties of S1 are

14!

fast, automatic, effortless, unconscious and inflexible, can be evoked by language in


addition to perception. Properties of S2 are slow, conscious, effortful and relatively
flexible. In many cases, S1 and S2 work together, but there are situations in which S1
produces quick automatic non-normative responses, while S2 may or may not
intervene in its role as monitor and critic.

The research is done by case studies referring to 2 past research results. One is the
Students-and-professors problem (Clement etal. ,1981), another one is the case of
Lagranges Theorem (Hazzan and Leron, 1996). Clement explained the performance
of students using the failure of S1-S2 system. He concluded that the Dual-process
theory in Cognitive Psychology is to add value in tightening, refining and
operationalizing the distinction between intuitive and analytical thinking in
mathematics education.

Also this review is beneficial to cognitive psychology

because the settings of mathematics tasks are very different from psychology research
setting. Typically mathematics tasks are abstract and complex, the content usually has
been previously taught formally to the students, always given in an examination or
problem-solving situation. Therefore, S2 system is expected to elicit in most cases.

There are also some educational implications. Strengthening S2 process is what


mathematics education has always been trying to do and should be encouraged.
However, errors are typically combined failures of both S1 and S2.

It is suggested that people should be trained to be aware of the ways S1 and S2


operate while they are doing problem-solving.

A secondary cognitive ability to

monitor not only the S1 but also the S1/S2 interaction is important.

15!

OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS
What are open-ended questions? Cooney, Sanchez, Leatha & Mewborn (2004)
suggested that open-ended questions should include the following features. First, they
involves a significant concept in a related field. Second, there should be multiple
answers to open-ended questions. Third, open-ended questions need to communicate
the reasoning process. Fourth, open-ended questions should be stated clearly. Fifth,
open-ended questions must have a scoring rubric; partial credit should be given to the
answer to why whenever it has a value.
Klavir and Hershkovitz (2008) stated that:
that importance of open-ended problems lies first and foremost in the fact
that they break the stereotype that every problem has one correct solution.
They also enable each student to work on the same problem according to his
or her abilities. However, the primary importance of problems of this kind lies
in the fact that they can be used to learn various strategies and thus deepen the
students' mathematical knowledge and develop their creative mathematical
thinking.
In his paper, an open-ended problem was designed. This could serve as an example
that is relevant to my study in this paper. Also it gave a way for teachers to evaluate
the work of their students when dealing with problems of this kind.

Here is his

example.

16!

The!question!is!targeted!at!fifthTgrade!students.!The!question!is!asking!which!of!a!
group!of!five!numbers!does!not!belong.!!Each!of!these!numbers!actually!can!be!
selected!with!different!reasons!why!it!does!not!belong.!!They!make!reference!to!
types!of!knowledge,!levels!of!complexity!in!mathematical!thinking!and!levels!of!
creative!thinking!in!its!various!dimensions.!!
In!analyzing!students!solution,!4!categories!are!distinguished:!Correct!solutions,!
incorrect!solutions,!inappropriate!solutions!and!unintelligible!solutions.!!Most!of!
students!fall!into!the!category!of!inappropriate!solutions,!in!which!solutions!do!
not!meet!the!requirement!of!assignment!to!find!which!number!does!not!belong.!
Students! demonstrate! two! kinds! of! capabilities! in! his! paper:! active! level! of!
mathematical! knowledge,! creative! capabilities! that! stimulate! their! imagination!
and!enable!them!to!find!more!and!more!solutions.!!
Concerning mathematical knowledge revealed in correct solutions by students, there
are five categories: Iconic explanations, reasons based on a mathematical property
(most students demonstrate this knowledge, which shows that more students choose
to use the types of knowledge that are more available to them), reasons based on a
mathematical manipulation applied to the numbers, reasons based on a combination
of properties and/or manipulations, and other reasons. Further analysis of the solution
involves indices of creativity, which is categorized into 4 levels Fluency, flexibility,
elaboration and originality. A further challenge assignment on the problem is to be set
to motivate students in two dimensions: to try and find more reasons for not
belonging (fluency) and to look for reasons that belong to different mathematical
categories (flexibility). I give a more detailed review of this paper because the
example inspires me a lot for analyzing and designing open-ended question.

17!

In!another!study,!Husain,!Bais,!Hussain!and!Samad!(2012)!studied!the!questions!
in! the! examination! papers! in! engineering! program! offered! in! Malaysia.! ! The!
examination!paper!needs!to!test!students'!critical!and!analytical!thinking!skills.!!
Students!should!demonstrate!their!ability!to!respond!with!extensive!arguments!
to!support!their!views!and!lead!to!the!ability!to!make!decisions.!!They!also!need!
to!demonstrate!their!creativity!and!inTdepth!understanding!what!they!learnt!in!
classroom.! ! Therefore! openTended! questions! are! included! in! the! paper.! In! this!
paper,!the!author!tried!to!define!openTended!questions,!how!to!formulate!them!
and! set! the! percentage! of! this! type! of! questions! to! be! asked! in! the! final!
examinations.!!!
The!author!also!identified!the!challenges!faced!in!the!construction!of!openTended!
questions.!!Firstly,!if!the!question!is!not!properly!constructed!and!administered!it!
can!confuse!the!students.!!Secondly,!vague!and!unclear!questions!and!time!limit!
to!formulate!an!answer!provide!a!negative!stimulus!to!students.!!Thirdly,!extra!
workload!for!grading!provides!a!negative!stimulus!to!teachers.!!
Education & Manpower Bureau of Hong Kong (2003) also suggests that when using
open-ended questions to assess student's performance, three points need attention:
stress communication, apply skills in practical context and evaluate at suitable times.
Methods to create open-ended questions include adapting a question from tests or
homework, generalizing a problem and making the context, style and the result open.
Education & Manpower Bureau of Hong Kong (2003, p.5) also suggests some
questions/statements to make questions open-ended, such as:
Describe or explain how you find your answers.

18!

Write a story or a description on the information given in a graph.


Do you agree with the solution? Explain why you think this is correct.
Use the information to show how you obtain your answer.
Explain your answer and give examples.

Multiple-choice question and open-ended question are very different, especially in the
cognitive perspective. Multiple-choice questions are product-oriented tests, while
open-ended questions are process-oriented tests (Collis, 1992). The basic format of
open-ended questions should be set by a series of propositional statements followed
by a question (s) to which the student is required to make response. The test,
however, is largely based on exemplary teachers experience and intuitive ideas. He
also discussed different models about students cognitive task in problem solving,
which indicates how cognitive science can help the development of curriculum in
future.
Grouws! and! Meier (1992) reviewed the California Assessment Program (CAP)
achievement test.

The program used open-ended questions and holistic scoring.

After compiling results and studying the information obtained, the CAP
recommended that open-ended questions should become a regular portion of the grade
12 mathematics test. This leads other states in US to develop assessment methods to
replace multiple-choice standardized achievement tests. While the state-wide
Missouri Mathematics Achievement Test (MMAT) still employed multiple-choice
question, it incorporate the use of calculators to decrease the emphasis on

19!

computation.
How to enhance divergent thinking in these kinds of open-ended question? Kwon
O.N. ,Park and Park(2006) developed a program to enhance divergent thinking in
mathematics by open-ended problems.

398 seventh grade students in Seoul

participated in the study. They use pre-testing and post-testing to measure diverging
skills through open-ended problems.
In the study, a total of twenty sessions of teachers guidelines and students
worksheets were designed. They were composed of various types of open-ended
problems. The worksheets cover as wide a range as possible in the curriculum. They
were also made to encourage students to produce as many answers as they could in
order to observe their fluency. Not only to observe students flexibility by introducing
various types of responses, the worksheets also determined their originality by
encouraging them to produce responses different from each other. Moreover, there
was one class every week consisting of both individual learning and small-group
cooperative learning. Following types of open-ended problems are designed:
overcoming fixations, multiple answers, multiple strategies, strategy investigation,
problem posing, active inquiry tasks, and logical thinking.
The results of the study shows that treatment group students performed better on each
component of diverging thinking skills. This research gives a good ground for
cultivating student divergent thinking of problem solving.
Adopting open-ended question in Mathematics education seems to be a norm, but
actually are there any drawbacks? Wu (1993) suggested that open-ended problems
can bring mathematics education closer to real mathematics. However, there are

20!

certain hazards in practice.

For example, it is possible that students may be

misinformed about the very nature of mathematics itself. He selected three questions
to illustrate the possibilities. The first question is about application of isoperimetric
inequality to an application problem, while the students did not have knowledge about
isoperimetric inequality, meaning that the complete solution is not assessable to them.
One of the concerns in mathematics is to discover general laws that govern disparate
phenomena. Most students find they have difficulties in answering that question,
some of them just make wild guess based on incomplete logic. For this problem,
instead of not mentioning anything about the knowledge of isoperimetric inequality,
teacher should clearly state the knowledge, explain what it is about and how it bears
on the particular problem. The sequence of teaching in mathematics is not necessary
to be linearly ordered.

It is possible to make known to students at each step

something that is proven or borrowed from the future without risk of circular
reasoning. Another solution is to narrow down the scope of the problem to an extent
that solution can be completely accessible to students. In Problem II and Problem III,
students make use of unwarranted assumptions to derive the solution. Similarly
solution like Problem I should be taken.
Traditional problems insist on one and only one correct answer can threaten students
and too rigid to allow them to show what they know. Open-ended problems should
be introduced so that all students can work at their own level. Being not insisting on
one correct answer, this give students confidence to solve new problems. However,
in real life, these problems in some cases are synonymous with partial answers or
unjustified guesses.

21!

Research Questions and Design


In this study, I will focus mainly on three research questions:
1. How does the schema model help students to solve geometric problems?
2. What are the differences in schema structure for high and low achievers?
3. By taking into account of certain cognitive models and theories, how can we
redesign the instruction for teaching geometry?
4. Can students be benefited from the redesigned class? If so, in what ways?

There are three stages in this study: understanding, instructional design and evaluation.
The topic to be investigated is geometry about circle and tangent of higher secondary
school level.

This research is mainly a qualitative one which aims at unfolding

students mind in geometric problem solving using some cognitive models and
inspiring the instructional design in teaching geometry.
!
!
SUBJECTS:
There! are! ten! students! participated! in! this! research,! five! of! them! are! high!
achievers,! five! of! them! are! low! achievers.! The! five! high! achievers! have!
participated! in! the! past! year! Hong! Kong! Diploma! of! Secondary! Education!
Examination!(HKDSE)!and!obtained!the!highest!levels!of!standard!!T!level!5*!to!
5**! which! are! the! highest! standard! in! Hong! Kong! examination! system.! ! ! About!
the!low!achievers,!there!are!also!five!students!who!have!also!participated!in!the!
past!year!HKDSE!and!obtained!a!relatively!poor!to!average!levels!of!standard!!T!
!

22!

level! 1! to! 5! (Lowest! level! is! level! 1).! ! They! are! repeaters! this! year! and!
mathematics!is!one!of!the!subjects!they!will!retake.!All!ten!students!are!all!from!
different! secondary! schools.! ! The! reason! to! select! repeaters! instead! of! current!
dayTschool! students! as! subject! is! to! ensure! that! they! have! similar! background,!
and! also! my! tutorial! course! is! the! only! mathematics! class! the! low! achievers!
attend!this!year!and!throughout!the!research!period.!!!Therefore!I!can!ensure!a!
better!control!of!their!study!progress!during!the!research!period.!!!

THE RESEARCH DESIGN


!
!
Phase!1:!
Understanding!

Phase!2:!
Instructional!
Design!

Phase!3:!
Evaluation!

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Figure+3:+Design+of+research+
!
!
!

23!

This is a summary of my research design. It is divided into 3 phases:


Phase 1 is about the understanding of the role of schema and some other cognitive
models in learning geometry. This part actually is a main part of my study. Here I
will have 10 students participating in a test, they are divided into two groups high
achievers group and low achievers group. I would like to find out the ways and
patterns they solve problems, which reflect their mental processes and structure.
In phase 2, the low achievers group will attend my class, I will introduce in later part
of this paper the lesson design strategy and how to make use of the schema model to
make it more effective.
Phase 3 is the evaluation part. The low achievers group took a post-test after a month
and the results will be analyzed. This part is to evaluate the effectiveness of the
lesson design.
In this paper, Part 1 - Understanding the role of cognitive models in learning
Geometry refers to the phase 1 of the research. For phase 2 and 3, they will be
discussed in part 2: Instructional Design and Evaluation part.

24!

Part 1: Understanding the role of cognitive models in learning


Geometry

25!

METHODOLOGY
In the first part, the objective is to understand more about how psychological factors
affect their problem solving procedures and their difficulties in learning Geometry. I
try to find the root cause for their difficulties in learning. A written test consisted of
six parts was given to the participants out of class time. They all have learnt the
topics already at school. Total duration of test was 1 hour 15 minutes. The main part
of the test is the part 6 (Detailed question set please see appendix 6): open-ended
question part, in which students are asked to think aloud their thinking process in
solving an open-ended question. Dialogues were audio-recorded and analyzed in the
solution path analysis. Full sample of test is attached in the appendix 1 of this paper.
Following are the description and some samples of the six parts of the test:
The Open-ended Question
This! part! aims! at! understanding! the! role! of! schema! model! in! solving! geometry!
problems.! In! this! part,! students! are! asked! to! solve! an! openTended! question! by!
finding!as!many!angles!as!they!can!from!the!problem.!!A!total!of!26!angles!can!be!
found.!!!Students!are!encouraged!to!think!aloud!their!working!procedures!during!
the!process.!!The!process!is!audioTrecorded.!!!
My! hypothesis! is! that! students! with! higher! ability! tend! to! use! a! schema! more!
frequent!and!a!more!variety!of!schemas!are!activated.!!!
Coding:!!
A! schema! is! identified! as! being! activated! when! a! student! mentions! a! correct!
theorem!when!finding!an!angle.!!A!total!of!twelve!schemas!are!identified.!!Simply!
minus! an! included! angle! from! another! is! not! identified! as! a! schema! activation.!!

26!

False! activation! is! identified! when! a! student! apply! a! theorem! incorrectly.! ! The!
number!of!correct!angle!found!is!also!counted!for!each!student.!!!
!
The!Question:!
!
Given!that:!
!

1.!

PQ!is!the!diameter!of!semiTcircle!PBQ!and!tangent!of!circle!ABC!at!O!

2.!

O!is!the!center!of!semiTcircle!PBQ!

3.!

BPQ = 20 !and! ABP = 50 !

Find!as!many!angles!as!you!can!

[
1.

:!
PQ!

!PBQ!
!ABC!

2.!

O!

!PBQ!

3.!

BPQ = 20 ! !!

D(

!
!O!
!

E(
F(

ABP = 50 !

]! !

!Figure+4:+The+open>ended+question+
!
!
!
!
!
!

27!

!
Pre>test!1:+Theorem+test+(For detailed question set, please see appendix 1)+
This! part! aims! at! testing! the! ability! to! recall! theorems.! ! Students! are! asked! to!
solve! 6! very! simple! geometry! problems! with! an! explanation! by! theorems.!
Correct! theorems! identified! by! student! are! counted.! ! ! Correct! theorems! do! not!
necessarily! mean! exact! wordings.! ! A! student! who! is! able! to! describe! the! key!
concept! of! the! theorem! will! be! counted! as! correct.! ! Following! is! one! of! the!
question:!!
!
O!is!the!centre!of!circle!ABC.!!Write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!
[O!

!ABC!

!x!

]!

C(
O(

A(
B(

!
Figure+5:+Sample+question+in+the+theorem+name+test+

Pre>test!2+&+3:+Cognitive+Load+test+(For detailed question set, please see appendix


2&3)+
This part aims at investigating how cognitive loads and working memory limitation
affect the problem solving procedures.! ! In! part! 2,! students! are! asked! to! solve! 5!

28!

multipleTchoice!questions!without!written!procedures,!which!means!that!students
are not allowed to write down any steps or number on paper.! ! Questions! are!
designed!to!be!solvable!by!just!three!to!four!steps!that!should!be!within!human!
working!memory!limitation.!Some questions require students to draw line, meaning
that they need to mentally form an image instead of writing them down in the problem
solving procedures. !Test!3!is!a!similar!test!that!allows!students!to!write!the!steps!
on! paper.! ! This! test! acts! as! a! control! and! reference! of! their! ability.! ! In! my!
hypothesis,!high!achiever!with!an!organized!knowledge!structure!should!be!able!
to! minimize! the! cognitive! load! in! solving! geometric! problem.! ! Correct! answers!
found!by!student!are!counted!and!recorded.!
!
Sample!Question:!
In!the!figure,!CD!is!the!diameter!of!the!circle!ABCD.!CD!and!BA!are!produced!to!
!

meet!at!E.!If! BCA = 42 !and!BA!=!BC,!find! CEB .!

BCA = 42 !

CD!

!ABCD!
!BA!=!BC

CD!
! CEB

!BA!

!E

]!

!
!

A.!

26 !

B.!

36 !

C.!

42 !

D.!

48 !

C(
(

D(
E(

A(

B(

!
Figure+6:+Sample+question+in+the+MC+Test+

29!

+
Pre>test!4:+Conventional+question+(For detailed question set, please see appendix
4)+
In! this! part,! students! are! asked! to! solve! 5! conventional! questions.! ! They! are!
required!to!show!their!steps!and!explanation!formally.!!This!part!is!to!investigate!
their!overall!problem!solving!ability!and!the!difference!between!solving!multiple!
choice!question!and!conventional!question.!!Difference!in!problem!solving!style!
is!one!of!the!aspects!to!study.!
!
Sample!Question:!
In!the!figure,! AB : BC : CA = 1: 3: 5 .!D!is!a!point!on!AC!such!that! BD AC .!
!

Find! DBA .!

DBA

! BD AC

AB : BC : CA = 1: 3: 5 D! !AC!

]!!

!
!
!

A(

D(

!
!

B(

C(

!
!
Figure+7:+Sample+question+in+the+conventional+question+test+
!
!

30!

!
Pre>test!5:+Word>only+Problems+(For detailed question set, please see appendix 5)+
!
In!this!part,!students!are!asked!to!solve!3!geometry!problems!without!diagram!
given.!!They!are!required!to!draw!the!diagram!themselves!from!the!description!
in!the!question.!!This!part!aims!at!investigating the role of visualization in problem
solving and any difficulty in transforming a word-only problem into diagram.!In!my!
hypothesis,!high!achievers!should!be!able!to!convert!precisely!all!characteristics!
and! relationship! as! mentioned! in! words.! ! Mathematics! language! is! one! of! the!
aspects!they!master!better!than!the!lower!achiever.!
!
Sample!Question:!
!
O!is!the!centre!of!the!circle!and!AP!is!the!tangent!to!the!circle!at!P.!If!AOB!is!a!
!

straight!line!and!AP!=!BP,!find! PBO .!

[O!

PBO

!AP!

!P!

!AOB!

!AP!=!BP

]!

!
!

31!

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION (PRE-TEST: Open-ended Question)


A!schema!is!identified!as!activated!once!the!student!find!an!angle!correctly!by!the!
correct! theorem.! ! The! number! of! activations! for! each! schema! is! recorded.! ! A!
student!can!activate!a!schema!more!than!once.!!For!each!schema,!the!numbers!of!
activations!by!the!two!groups!are!recorded!as!follows:!
Schema'

High'achievers' Low'achievers'

Adjacent!angle!on!straight!line!

34!

14!

Vertical!opposite!angle!

12!

2!

Angle!sum!of!triangle!

35!

17!

Exterior!angle!of!triangle!

2!

1!

Angle!sum!of!polygon!

2!

2!

Base!angle!isos!triangle!(RADII)!

7!

4!

Angle!in!semiEcircle!

5!

4!

Angles!in!same!segment!

9!

7!

Angle!at!centre!twice!angle!at!circumference!

4!

4!

Opposite!angle!cyclic!quad.!

8!

4!

Exterior!angle!cyclic!quad.!

1!

0!

Angles!in!alt!segment!

7!

4!

Number'of'schema'activated'

126'

63'

Total'Angles'found'successfully'

125'

72'

1(Corrected)'

2'

Frequency'of'false'activation'

Table(1:(Total(Number(of(schema(activated(by(the(5(high(achievers(and(5(low(
achievers+

32!

Frequency+of+activation+&+False+activation+
We!can!see!from!the!result!that!the!frequency!of!activation!of!different!schema!
for! high! achiever! group! is! significantly! higher! than! that! of! low! achiever! group.!!!
They! can! retrieve! schema! effectively! that! is! related! to! solve! the! problems.!!
Moreover,!it!occurs!that!a!high!achiever!activates!a!schema!incorrectly!but!after!
some!cross!checking!he!is!able!to!correct!it.!!In!contrast,!the!low!achievers!fail!to!
selfTcorrect!their!false!activation.!!!
Such!a!difference!in!frequency!can!show!that!high!achievers!have!a!higher!ability!
to! search! for! related! knowledge,! but! the! reason! behind! this! result! is! not! yet!
known.! ! I! would! like! to! further! analyze! the! solving! process! of! each! individual!
student! to! unfold! his! thinking.! ! Therefore! I! further! carry! on! another! analysis! !
Solution!Path!Analysis.!
!
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

33!

Solution+path+analysis+
To!trace!the!student!solution!path,!I!represent!each!angle!of!the!problem!with!a1,!
a2,!a3!There!are!altogether!26!angles.!!!

!
Figure+8:+Angles+notation+in+open>ended+question+
On! the! solution! path! diagram,! an! angle! found! without! predecessor! box! means!
that!the!student!is!using!given!information!in!question!to!find!the!angle.!!!
All!angles!lining!up!in!the!same!arrow!mean!that!they!follow!one!from!each!other.!!
It!means!that!the!student!finds!one!angle,!then!generates!a!new!angle!using!the!
one! he! found.! Of! course! he! may! also! need! to! use! some! other! angles! found!
previously,!however!if!the!angles!are!on!the!same!arrow,!they!can!be!considered!
as!follow!through!from!the!one!before!because!it!provide!the!critical!information!
to!generate!the!new!angle.!!It!reflects!the!ability!to!generate!new!information.!!!
When!a!student!needs!to!look!back!to!those!angles!he!found!before!and!use!it!to!
find!another!angle,!a!separate!arrow!will!be!used.!!!
The!sequence!of!correct!angles!found!is!in!the!order!of!left!to!right.!!!

34!

Following!is!a!demonstration!of!how!to!visualize!the!solving!process!through!the!
solution!path!diagram:!
Example+
+
a4!
!

!
!
!
!
!
!

a3!

a2!

a6!

a5!

Figure+9:+A+sample+solution+path+diagram+

Explanation+of+the+diagram+
Using!the!information!angle!BPQ=20o!as!given!in!the!question,!a!student!derive!
a4!with!the!following!step:!
!4 = 40!(Angle!at!centre!twice!angle!at!circumference)!
[Using(given(information:(Diagram(representation((no(previous(box](
(
!3 = !2 = 70!(Base!angles,!isos!triangle)!
[Followed( from( a4,( the( student( can( generate( the( base( angles( in( triangle( BOQ:(
Diagram(representation((arrow(follow(through(from(a4(to(a3(and(a2](
(
!6 = 180 40 = 140!(Adjacent!angles!on!straight!line)!
[At(this(time,(the(student(traced(back(to(a4(and(the(find(a6(by(the(fact(that(they(are(
adjacent(angles.((Diagram(representation:((a6(can(be(considered(as(followed(from(
a4(with(a(separate(arrow.((Since(a6(is(found(after(a2,(the(box(of(a6(is(located(on(the(
right(hand(side(of(a2.](
(
!5 = 180 140 20 = 20!(Angle!sum!of!triangle)!

35!

[With(a6(successfully(found,(a5(can(be(easily(obtained(through(angle(sum(of(
triangle.(Diagram(representation:(arrow(from(a6(to(a5.](
+
Solution+path+diagrams+of+some+high+achievers+and+low+achievers+
!
!
a1!

a22!

a9!

a10!

a2!

a3!

a5!

a6!

a7!

a24!

a26!

a19!

a18!

a20!

a8!

a15!

!
a16! a11! a12! a15! a13! a21! a17!

!
!

a23!

a25!

!
Figure+10:+High+achiever+solution+path+sample+(H1)+
!
!
!

a5! a4! a2! a3!


a15! a17! a21! a20!
a7!

a18!

a19!

a26!

a25!

!
!

a9!

a22!

!
a23! a24! a12! a10! a12! a13! a14!

a8! a20! a21! a17! a15!

Figure+11:+High+achiever+solution+path+sample+(H2)+
!

36!

For! high! achiever! H2,! there! is! a! special! box! highlighted! with! dotted! lines!
representing! he! wrongly! calculate! some! angles.! ! However! he! is! able! to! self!
correct!through!finding!some!other!angles!and!then!review!those!mistakes.!
!
a1! a2!

a4!

a3!

a5!

a6!

a9!

a22!

a7!

a19!
a18! a20!

a8!

a10! a12! a24! a25!

a14! a15!

Figure+13:+Low+achiever+solution+path++

a11! a13!

sample+(L1)+(L1+is+the+only+one+successfully++
a16!

found+almost+all+angles.++)+
a23! a26!

!
!

a1!

a2!

!
!
!

a4!

a6!

a5!

a3!

a7! a18!

!
!
!
!

a9! a22!

a19!

a20!
a8!
a21! a17!

Figure+14:+Low+achiever+solution+path++
sample+(L4)+

a10! a15!

37!

Through! the! solution! path! diagram,! we! can! see! some! significant! differences!
between!high!and!low!achievers.!!For!other!participants!solution!path!diagram,!
please! refer! to! appendix! 1.! ! Following! findings! are! consistent! among! other!
participants.!
!
Long+sequence+of+solution+path+
High! achiever! has! a! clear! solution! path! with! longer! sequence! of! information!
generation.!!They!generally!show!a!smooth!and!clear!solution!path,!i.e.!they!can!
find! a! new! angle! from! the! previous! answer! one! by! one! with! a! clear! logic.!!
However! for! low! achievers! they! generally! jump! from! one! angle! to! another!
without!a!clear!logical!relationship.!!This!shows!that!their!knowledge!structure!
may!be!more!fragmented.!!Moreover,!low!achievers!tend!to!give!up!and!stop!once!
they! are! stuck! after! finding! an! angle,! while! high! achiever! shows! a! more!
persistent!attitude!to!search!for!solution!related!to!what!he!found.!!!
!
Multiple+uses+of+single+data+
High!achiever!is!able!to!generate!new!information!by!the!multiple!use!of!a!single!
data.(For!some!data!like!PQ,!it!can!be!used!as!a!diameter!to!find!a!right!angle,!a!
tangent!to!find! BAO and!also!split!into!radii!to!find!an!isosceles!triangle.!!High!
achievers!are!able!to!perform!multiple!use!of!this!single!source!of!data!but!low!
achievers!generally!only!use!it!once!or!twice.(
!
Multiple+schema+activated+
High! achiever! shows! an! ability! to! activate! multiple! schema! when! solving! an!
angle.!!For!example,!when!high!achiever!H1!solve!angle!BOQ!he!mentioned:!
!

38!

because!this!is!angle!at!centre!twice!angle!at!circumference,!at!the!same!time!
this!can!be!solved!by!isosceles!triangle!
Related!schemas!are!connected!to!each!other!in!an!organized!way!that!provide!
an!effective!access!channel.!!!
!
Schema+activation+speed+
High! achiever! has! a! higher! schema! activation! speed,! which! reflects! a! higher!
quality! of! knowledge! structure.( ( For! activation! of! schema! that! is! relatively!
indirect,!for!example!using!angle!in!alternate!segment!to!find! BAO requires!a!
student!to!shift!the!focus!from!the!semiTcircle!to!the!whole!circle.!!High!achievers!
can!activate!the!schema!faster!than!low!achievers.!!Only!3!out!of!5!low!achievers!
can! activate! angle! in! alternate! segment! while! all! 5! high! achievers! can! do! so.!!
Moreover!there!is!a!significantly!long!time!lag!(For!example,!although!L1!can!also!
find! all! angles,! he! takes! more! than! 20! seconds! to! apply! angle! in! alternate!
segment!to!find!that!particular!angle)!for!low!achievers!to!activate!that!schema.!!
(
Range+of+geometric+schema+
High!achiever!tends!to!use!a!greater!range!of!geometric!schemas.!!To!solve!the!
problem,!high!achievers!make!use!of!9!to!11!different!schema.!!For!low!achievers,!
except!a!relatively!capable!student!who!use!11!different!schema,!others!only!can!
activate!3!!9!different!schema.!!(
!
Self+correction+
High!achiever!(H2)!shows!a!selfTcorrection!process.!!He!finds!some!other!angles!
to!cross!check!the!mistakes!he!made!and!corrected!them.!!It!happens!that!a!low!
!

39!

achiever! (L3)! also! made! some! mistakes,! but! he! chooses! to! give! up! solving! the!
problem!instead!of!finding!ways!to!correct!them.!
!
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION (PRE-TEST: Other parts of test)
Pre>test+1:+Theorem+test++
!
Theorems''

High'achievers'

Low'achievers'

1!

5!

4!

2!

5!

2!

3!

5!

3!

4!

5!

2!

5!

5!

5!

6!

5!

0!

30!

16!

TOTAL!
+

Table+2:+Number+of+correct+theorems+identified+
!
In!this!test,!all!high!achievers!successfully!recall!and!identify!all!theorems,!while!
low!achievers!show!some!errors!and!failure!in!identifying!the!theorem.!!Some!of!
them! actually! know! how! to! apply! the! theorem! but! cannot! recall! the! theorem.!!
This! is! because! most! low! achievers! remember! the! theorems! by! rote!
memorization!while!high!achievers!memorize!by!the!meaning!of!theorems.!!!
For! low! achievers,! all! of! them! mix! up! the! properties! of! arc! and! chord.! ! Some!
students! even! write! the! theorem! name! Angle! at! centre! is! proportional! to!

40!

chords.! ! They! also! do! not! have! clear! concept! of! certain! terms! like! segment! of!
circle.! ! One! of! the! low! achiever! mention! the! theorem! :! Alternative! angle! of!
tangent!instead!of!Angle!in!alternate!segment.!!!
!+
Pre>test+2+&+3:+Cognitive+Load+test+
Question!!

High!achievers!

Low!achievers!

1!

5!

3!

2!

4!

2!

3!

5!

3!

4!

5!

3!

5!

4!

4!

23!

15!

(
(
(

TOTAL!

(
(
(
(

Table+3:+Number+of+correct+answers+in+Test+2+(Without+written+procedure)+
Question!!

High!achievers!

Low!achievers!

!
1!

4!

4!

2!

4!

4!

3!

5!

3!

4!

4!

2!

5!

4!

5! (

21!

18! (

TOTAL!

!
!
(
(

!
Table+4:+Number+of+correct+answers+in+Test+3(With+written+procedure)+
!

41!

High! achievers! perform! significantly! better! and! faster! in! the! without! written!
procedure! test! but! the! difference! become! much! smaller! in! the! with! written!
procedure! test.! ! Proper! schema! can! be! activated! and! the! cognitive! load! in!
solving! the! problems! is! reduced.! ! Schemas! are! organized! in! a! way! such! that!
shortTterm!memory!can!be!used!effectively!for!solving!the!problems.!
There!are!also!some!interesting!comments!from!a!high!achiever:!
o H1((TEST(2):(Its(tired(to(solve(the(problem(without(writing(on(
paper!
o H1((TEST(2):(This(can(be(an(effective(training!
o H1((TEST(3):(Its(much(easier(than(the(previous(test(
High! achievers! perceive! the! difficulty! to! finish! the! problem! as! a! training!
opportunities.! ! ! ! They! have! a! high! motivation! to! solve! problem! and! overcome!
difficulty.!
+

42!

Pre>test+4:+Conventional+question+

+
Figure+15:+A+typical+conventional+problem+solving+style+
We!want!to!see!the!solving!style!of!students!in!this!part!of!test.!!All!students!solve!
the! problems! by! directly! writing! angles! on! diagram! in! a! way! similar! to! solve! a!
MC!problem.!!After!they!find!the!angles,!they!present!the!formal!steps!separately.!!
It! appears! that! the! problem! solving! style! of! MC! questions! is! more! natural! than!
presenting! the! arguments! step! by! step.! ! This! inspires! the! instructional! design!
SplitTattention!effect!which!is!consistent!with!usual!problem!solving!behavior.!!!
Some!low!achievers!cannot!present!the!steps!correctly!and!logically.!!Some!only!
shows!one!or!two!statements!that!are!explicitly!mentioned!in!the!questions.!!!
!
!
+
+

43!

Pre>test+5:+Word>only+Problems++

!
Figure+16:+Low+achiever+(L1)+success+in+drawing+the+diagram+but+fail+to+
solve+the+problem+

Figure+17:+High+achiever+(H4)+draw+the+diagram+and+solve+the+problem+
successfully+
!

44!

!
Figure+18:+Low+achiever+(L4)+fail+to+put+the+information+in+problem+into+the+
diagram+

!
!
Figure+19:+High+achiever+(H1)+inserts+all+information+into+diagram+
correctly+with+problem+solved+with+logical+steps.+
!

45!

All! questions! provide! adequate! information! to! draw! a! unique! diagram.! ! As! we!
can! see,! all! high! achievers! are! able! to! draw! the! diagrams! and! solve! the! angles!
directly,! while! 4! out! of! 5! Low! achievers! make! mistake! in! drawing! the! diagram,!
showing!that!there!is!a!language!issue!which!need!our!attention.!!Most!of!them!
overlook! certain! condition! mentioned! in! the! question! or! misunderstand! the!
information.! ! ! Moreover,! high! achievers! succeed! in! solving! the! problem! after!
drawing! the! diagram,! while! most! of! the! low! achievers! stopped! attempting! to!
solve!the!problem!after!a!short!thinking!period.!!One!part!of!schema!the!students!
need! to! build! up! is! the! relationship! between! the! visual! representation! and! the!
verbal!statements.!!!

46!

Part 2: Instructional Design and Evaluation

47!

In the design part, here I will present an instructional design to teach geometry with
the use of some cognitive models. The design will focus on overcoming certain
cognitive barriers in learning and facilitating students formation of schema.
Class structure
There are around 40 students participated in the class. I am both the researcher and
teacher in class. Since the class is a tutorial class instead of day-school class, the
class duration is very limited. There are only 3 lessons in total, with each lesson 70
minutes, to cover all the theories in the chapter about circle and tangent properties.
Most of the class time is the demonstration of worked example by instructor, whereas
the remaining time is the practice time for students.

Examples and exercises are

categorized by properties to be used. The first two lessons focus on Multiple-choice


questions, and the final lesson focus on structural questions. All questions format are
based on Hong Kong public examination standard. Students are not expected to do
much work at home, therefore the efficiency of class is highly dependent on the
presentation of instructor. Following are the strategies used in the presentation and
instruction.
Problem Solving Ability Enhancement Strategies
Solving geometry problem always involve a seeing process with several successive
phases from physical-neural ones to higher cognitive processes (Gal et.al. 2010).
Duval (1998) defines such phases as three functions: visualization, construction and
reasoning. Gal et.al. (2010) point out that visualization starts with the visual
perception process that focuses on the figural properties of a diagram. This is the
initial focus in solving geometry problem, which in his term called the perceptionbased knowledge representation(VPR).
!

48!

However, another researcher Marr (1982) suggests some limitations in such visual
image formation. He suggests that a particular visual representation can make certain
information explicit while pushing other information into the background that become
hard to recover. Presmeg (1997) also suggests that this can prevent mathematical
generalization that results in difficulties in solving geometry problems.
In the design I am going to present, I will focus on building up schema through
visualization strategy, how to generalize such representation and minimize the
mistakes to be made. The design of the lesson is different from traditional drilling
approach. Following are the strategies to be used:
1. Avoiding the Split-attention effect
In traditional class, diagram and text are usually separated. Sweller (1992)
suggests that this can result in heavy cognitive load to shift attention from
diagram and text. To reduce the extrinsic cognitive load, diagram-text
integration is adopted in class instead of traditional method of separating
the statements from the diagrams. In this way students can focus on
learning the relationship between different schemas without the needs to
shift attention from the diagram to statement and the other way round. The
demonstration will also make use of visual aids such as using numbering
on diagram to show the logic and sequence in applying theorems to solve
the problems instead of verbal description. Efforts will be put on
promoting germane cognitive load.
Following is an example of teaching a problem in traditional way,
where text and diagram are separated.

49!

A!

B!

C!

!"# = 20(Alt%angles,%OB//AC)
!"# = 40(Angle'at'centre'twice'angle'at'circumference)
The$required$angle = 20 + 40 = 60(Exterior)angle)of)triangle)
Figure 20: Traditional presentation in classroom teaching
Here is an example of how to use diagram-text integration to avoid splitattention effect:

Figure 21: Diagram-text integration

50!

Students can focus on learning the logic and forming schema by paying
full attention to the diagram and relationship between angles.

2. Visualized analogy prototype with added-features


Students often find that it is difficult to follow, pay attention and
remember what the teachers said due to the limitation of working memory.
We should be aware that instead of deducing the solution from tedious
geometric theorems, the first focus of solving a geometric problem should
be the visual perception (Gal et.al., 2010). Teachers should focus on how
to make use of visual perception to facilitate learning process instead of
focusing on words and sentences in the first phase of instruction in
geometry.
A special presentation method on this topic will be used visualized
analogy prototype with features added. For example, after explaining the
characteristics of the theorem of angles in the same segment, it will be
presented as butterfly, with the features that the four angles lying on
circumference and each pairs are equal. In explaining every question
related to this theorem in class, the term will be used.

This can

significantly shorten the time to do the explanation, and also reduce the
cognitive load of students.

51!

Figure 22: The visual analogy as a Butterfly

However awareness should be put on the difficulty to generalize from such


robust representation (Presmag, 1997), therefore the schema should be
built up together with the following strategy.

3. A schema approach with mastery learning


DiMaggio (1997) defines schema to be an organized pattern of thought
that contains categories of information and the relationships among them.
Chinnappan M. (1998) also emphasize that organizational quality of the
knowledge in the long-term memory is very important in the problemsolving process. Based on these suggestions, schema here we want the
students to build up is not only the visual perception (e.g. the butterfly in
the previous strategy), but also an extensive knowledge network related to
that representation.
To build up students conceptual model for solving geometric problems, a
schema approach with mastery learning will be used. Following from the
previously introduced analogy prototype, connection for different

52!

prototypes will be strengthened. Together with the actual theorem concept


associated with the prototypes being taught from time to time and the
variation of problem environment of applying the theorem, a complete
schema system is formed in student mind. The schema system in solving
geometric problems should consist of four components:
Prototype visual analogy prototype for each theorem as the center
component of schema
Properties For the activation of the prototype, certain properties must be
present.

For example, to initiate a Butterfly analogy, equal arcs

properties should be a necessary condition. This is an important part to


avoid faulty use of theorem.
Description The theorems are to be understood as a description of the
schema. Students must be encouraged to understand the meaning of the
terms in the theorem instead of rote memorization. I will also employ
CLIL approach here (ESOL, 2010). Academic vocabularies such as arc,
circumference etc are introduced. Moreover, through a careful analysis of
clumsy theory such as Line from centre to mid-point of chord
perpendicular to chord, I will make use of highlighter to chunk the
sentence into parts to introduce the causal relationship of the theory.
Variation Anderson's (1983) ACT* theory suggests that a rich
conceptual knowledge base and examples together with general problemsolving heuristics are important to develop the new procedures for a
specific task. Then it comes to the discrimination and generalization
processes.
Here to build up the rich knowledge base and facilitate generalization

53!

processes, certain variation of the theorems are to be introduced before


students are required to face problems. For example, I will analyze the
presence of Butterfly in whole circle, semi-circle and quarter-circle.
Though in such cases some equal arcs may become invisible, they can
still be able to visualize the presence of the theorem. Another example is
to identify cyclic quadrilateral in various forms:

Figure 23: Some variations of Cyclic Quadrilateral

Moreover, questions are grouped into different difficulties that may


require different levels of reasoning and deduction. Only when students
showing that they can master problems of a specific difficulties they will
move to the next difficulty level.

4. Correction process for schema formation

Duval (2013) points out that visualization, like understanding, is


always a jump that corresponds to a new awareness in which
everything is completely reorganized in an obvious way. On the
positive side, such jump can result in an automated short-cut to
solution. However, on the negative side, they are sometimes errorprone. Over-emphasis on the surface feature in the analogy prototype
!

54!

sometimes can have adverse effect that students are more prompt to
mistakes. For example, sometimes even when some angles of butterfly
not lying on the circumference, students also will consider them to be
butterfly. Therefore a correction process is necessary.
Instead of telling them the correct way directly, they will be trapped in
some problems. They will reform their schema themselves with the
appropriate condition and constraints effectively after making mistakes
themselves. This can also be considered as using procedural knowledge to
reconstruct conceptual knowledge.

Figure 24: Error-Prompt Problem. Students will easily consider the ratio
of three angles as 4:5:6.

5. Worked Example
Sweller (1988) suggested that sometimes goal-free problems and workedexamples should be used instead of means-end analysis in problem solving
to help building up the schema and reduce cognitive load. The design of
remedial class here will use worked-example as majority. Steps-by-steps

55!

demonstration will be used throughout the class. Instead of showing the


procedures step by step, teaching is focused on using existing information
to generate new information.
6. The use of open-ended questions
For some questions, students will be invited to think of alternative solution.
Instead of solving the problems, the process and logic of thinking and how
to apply different schema in searching the problem space will be
encouraged. Klavir and Hershkovitz (2008) also suggest that these kinds
of problems can be used to learn various strategies and thus deepen the
students' mathematical knowledge and develop their creative mathematical
thinking.
7. Active highlighting
In the lesson, students are encouraged to highlight keywords by
themselves before demonstration from the instructor.

Svinicki (2006)

suggests that students highlight a sentence and review themselves why


they chose that sentence to highlight, they will take highlighting to a
deeper and more active level.

Enhancement of Mathematics Language used in Geometry


Most students memorized all those theorems names by rote memorization. They
only focus on solving the problem but pay only little attention on the language used in
communication.

The test results of Word Problem and Theorem name

demonstrate such learning focus. To enhance students communication ability and


also their ability in understanding word problem, following strategies are being used
in class:

56!

1. Vocabularies first
A collection of vocabularies referring to different position and terms to be
used in this topic should be introduced first. This is also a kind of concept
building and preparation for learning different theorems. Chords, Arcs,
Circumference, Segment, Sector are examples of the subject
vocabularies. Students are encouraged to speak aloud these words for better
memorization and to facilitate future learning. Moreover, some vocabularies
such as Sector and segment, arcs and chords should be paired up to help
students identifying their similarities and differences.
2. Learn each theorem by Logic first, theorems later
After introducing the vocabularies, teacher should encourage students to
identify the key properties of each theorem but not focus on the theorem
statement itself. After the students apply the theorems to different problems
and have built up the correct concepts, the theorem statements are to be
analyzed in terms of relational clauses, ways of presenting arguments and
causality to help students consolidating what they have learnt and also learn
the language.
3. Relational clauses and thesaurus
In geometry students learn quite a lot about relational clauses.

Before

analyzing the theorem statement, students will be invited to suggest out


similar words for the relationship.

For example, twice have the same

meaning of two times, doubles etc. This can deepen the understanding on
the properties and also strengthen their English language ability.
4. Ways of presenting arguments
Some geometry problems involves angle finding, and some problems involves

57!

proving.

The differences in the ways of presenting arguments serve for

difference purposes.

Worksheets for applying a theorem into different

problem context can be designed and the structure of statement and common
styles used for different purposes should be introduced.
5. Reason and Result Chunking
For some tedious and long statements such as Line joining centre to midpoint of chord perpendicular to chord can be chunked into two lines: Line
joining centre to mid-point of chord and

perpendicular to chord to

emphasis the causal relationship. Because (1) therefore (2) is a common


pattern in these thoerems.

58!

Evaluation (Post-test)
About 1 month after attending the remedial class designed with the strategy presented
in the previous part, students are asked to finish a post-test. Delayed test is arranged
such that long-term effect of class and change of students knowledge base can be
reflected. Format and level of test will be similar to the post-test in analysis part. I
will try to evaluate the effectiveness of the class with reference to the test result and
also their performance throughout the lessons.+
Post>test+1:+Theorem+test+

Theorems''

Pre'Test'

Post'Test'

1!

4!

4!

2!

2!

4!

3!

3!

4!

4!

2!

4!

5!

5!

4!

6!

0!

5!

16!

25!

+
+
+
+
+

TOTAL!

+
+
+

Table+5:+Number+of+correct+theorems+identified+
!
Students!recall!and!identify!most!theorems!precisely.!!They!do!not!perform!rote!
memorization!but!try!to!relate!the!meaning!of!theorems!with!the!related!terms!
in!their!mind.!!For!example,!Line!joining!centre!to!midTpoint!of!chord!
perpendicular!to!chord!and!Line!perpendicular!to!chord!bisects!chord!are!two!
theorems!that!are!easily!mixed!up!by!students.!!In!the!post!test,!4!out!of!5!
!

59!

students!state!the!theorem!correctly.!!This!reflects!a!logical!relationship!in!
students!mind!instead!of!rote!memorization!of!the!statement.!!
!+
Post+test+2+&+3:+Cognitive+Load+test+
(
Question!!

Pre!Test!

Post!Test!

1!

3!

5!

2!

2!

5!

3!

3!

5!

4!

3!

5!

5!

4!

4!

15!

24!

(
(
(
(

TOTAL!

(
(
(

Table+6:+Number+of+correct+answers+in+Test+2+(Without+written+procedure)+
Question!!

Pre!Test!

Post!Test!

1!

4!

5! !

2!

4!

5!

3!

3!

5!

4!

2!

5!

!
!
!
!

5!
TOTAL!

5!

4!

18!

24!

!
!

Table+7:+Number+of+correct+answers+in+Test+3(With+written+procedure)+
!

60!

Students!perform!much!better!in!both!tests.!!With!a!more!structured!knowledge!
base! with! related! schemas! connecting! to! each! other,! they! successfully! reduce!
their! cognitive! load! in! solving! problems! and! access! the! correct! solution!
effectively.!
Post+test+4:+Conventional+question++
Students! can! successfully! present! their! steps! logically! following! the! angles!
marked!on!the!diagram.!!Similar!problem!solving!style!with!preTtest!was!found.!
Post+test+5:+Word>only+Problems++

Diagram+25:+L1+can+solve+word>problem+successfully+in+the+post+test++

Diagram+26:+L4+can+solve+word>problem+successfully+in+the+post+test++
!
!

61!

In! the! preTtest,! low! achievers! in! general! cannot! even! draw! the! diagram! with!
correct!information.!!After!the!class,!they!can!comprehend!all!the!information!in!
problem!and!also!make!successful!attempt!in!solving!the!problem.!!This!is!a!great!
progress!in!dealing!with!these!word!problems.!!Language!is!a!focus!in!class!such!
that! students! not! only! need! to! solve! a! problem! but! also! to! communicate!
effectively.! ! Key! terms! and! relationship! are! emphasized! in! class.! Students! are!
encouraged! to! speak! out! their! steps! and! reasons! behind! instead! of! simply!
writing!down!the!angles.!!They!do!not!need!to!memorize!the!theorems,!but!they!
are!encouraged!to!retrieve!the!correct!terms!and!put!them!together!in!their!own!
way.! ! Language! plays! a! very! important! role! not! only! in! solving! a! problem,! but!
also!to!communicate!and!building!up!the!architecture!of!concepts.!!
!
!
!

62!

Conclusion
Schema plays an important role in teaching and learning geometry. From the openended question result, we can see that there is a significant difference in problem
solving style between high achievers and low achievers. Through the solution path
analysis they demonstrate the difference in expert and novice way in problem solving.

Difference in generative activity reflected from Solution Path Analysis


The long sequence of angle seeking procedure is one of the characteristics of how
high achiever solve a problem.

They possess a high ability in generating new

information using an existing one. With an organized schema structure they are also
more capable of searching through their solution space. In contrast, low achiever
seems less effective in generating new information. Whenever they get stuck, they
will give up and try to look for some other clues.
This result is consistent with the findings from Lawson and Chinnappan (1994) about
generative activity during geometry problem solving.

They also find that high

achievers usually use longer sequences of generative activity.

Their solution

searching process is more sustainable and spread more widely through the knowledge
network. Chinnappan suggests the term wave for this kind of generative activity.
One problem-relevant knowledge component was used to cue and activate further
knowledge.
In the instruction part, students should be encouraged to use the information given in
the data instead of finding a specific angle. They should be encouraged to generate
new information from the given information. This is a training to enhance their
generative ability. Moreover, they can work on the problems according to their ability
with this kind of training. Through these generative activity their understanding can

63!

be deepened and creativity is enhanced (Klavir!and!Hershkovitz,(2008).!!Teachers!


guidance! and! presentation! are! also! of! importance.! ! They! should! not! simply!
demonstrate! the! solution! while! presenting! a! worked! example,! they! also! should!
focus!on!how!to!generate!one!angle!from!another.!!For!questions!that!ask!for!a!
specific!angle,!teachers!can!also!put!in!variety!by!extending!the!diagram!or!lines!
further!that!can!lead!to!a!new!question.!!Generative!ability!is!always!the!focus.!
!
Generation of wide range of new information that provides opportunities for
searching relevant knowledge
For some high achievers (H3, H5), besides demonstrating the long sequence
processing, they also demonstrate another strategy in solving problem they generate
a wide range of information first, and then facilitate their solution searching process.
This is also consistent with Chinnappans research. In his paper high achievers fed
off nearly generated information and provided themselves with multiple chances for
finding relevant knowledge.

In contrast, also consistent with his research, low

achievers demonstrate lower levels of overall generative activity and shorter


sequences of information generation.
In understanding their learning process, I focus mainly on the role of schema through
their process in solving the open-ended questions. However many different cognitive
activities are indeed affecting a students problem solving process. The effect of
cognitive load and memory system in learning geometry is an area that worth to be
investigated yet not much research has been done in the area.
Concerning the instructional part, with the limitation of my tutorial class format that
focus on teachers presentation, I omit the design of student activities in this paper.

64!

However student activities like collaborative learning can also be very effective in
schema formation.

Persistency in searching for a solution


Low achievers usually give up after working on existing information. However, high
achievers are more persistent in searching for possible solution. These personality
differences may also account for the long chain solution process. Especially when
facing difficult questions, high achievers try to find different cues to solve the
problem and find as many pieces of information as they can. However, for low
achievers, after they stuck into existing information without moving further for a short
while, they stop their attempt to solve the problem.
Satisfaction can enhance persistency. Instructors can break the task into different
milestones and guide low achievers to finish easier task one after another.

Cognitive Load theory One of the directions for classroom practice


In the cognitive load test where students were asked to mentally calculate the angles
without the help of paper and pen, a significant difference is found between high
achievers and low achievers, and also the pre-test and post-test of low achievers. This
proves that not only there is a difference between their depth and width of knowledge,
but also the information processing procedures and the structure of knowledge that
affect the retrieval of information.
Besides the use of schema, teachers should also reduce extrinsic load and avoid splitattention effect of students by using techniques like Diagram-text integration as
mentioned earlier before.

Throughout the lesson, teachers are actually shaping the

students mind. How they present the problem solving procedures affect largely how

65!

students solve the problems themselves in future. Teachers not only have to present
the steps clearly, but also the thinking process behind. For example, when a diagram
requires adding a line, teacher should explain not only why the line helps to solve the
problem, but also what information triggers him to add the line. Emphasis should be
put on not only steps and answers, but also depth of thought.

Language issues in Geometry


In this paper, language used in geometry is also an area I want to study. In the pretests and post-tests, there are two parts called Theorem name and Word-only
Problem. Both parts suggest that language is an issues we need to address in
mathematics class. Here I would like to further discuss on this issue.
In geometry, all properties and theorems are clearly defined with specific subject
vocabularies.

For example, we refer different parts of a circle as arcs, chords,

circumference, segment, sector these are specific terms in mathematics in dealing


with the topics. All are precise, non-redundant and unambiguous. In Cuevas (1984)
words, these are the properties for mathematics register, which are the meanings
belonging to the natural language used in mathematics.
Besides these nouns that are reinterpreted from natural language words, there are also
specific relational clause used in the subject. For example, in the theorem angle at
centre twice angle at circumference, twice is specific relational clause that relates
two angles.
Styles of meaning and ways of presenting arguments are also the other components of
mathematics language (Halliday, 1975). For example Angle in the same segment,
Alternate angle, AB//CD are used when using these theorems to find a value,

66!

however Converse of angle in the same segment, Alternate angles equal are used
in the proving statement.
Causality is also another interesting point to note in the theorems statement. For
example, Line perpendicular from centre to chord bisects chord can be interpreted
as Because the line is perpendicular to chord, therefore it bisects the chord. While
Line joining centre to mid-point of chord perpendicular to chord can be interpreted
as Because the line joins centre to mid-point of chord, therefore it is perpendicular to
chord.
Given!

Result!

Line!joining!midTpoint!to!centre!of!chord!! perpendicular!to!chord!

Figure 27: An example of causality in one of the theorems.

Vocabularies, relational clause, ways of presenting arguments and causality are the
four key aspects of language issues in teaching and learning geometry. Chunking,
Logic first are some important strategies in dealing with these aspects. To further
enhance the instructional design of class, extra exercises can also be designed on
improving students ability in these areas. They are not about spelling of words or
memorization of statements, but about building up a deeper understanding and more
extensive concept network for students. For example, words-diagram conversion can
be a kind of training in which students try to draw diagram from words-problem or
use words to describe a diagram and all the information contained in the diagram. !

67!

Think on what students think


In this paper, I have conducted the research on various aspects about teaching and
learning geometry. Cognitive models and psychological factors can affect not only
the effectiveness of the process, but also students knowledge structure in long term.
I would like to provide a broad range of perspectives on the area, which may inspire
future research to focus on one of these aspects. Another area for future research can
also focus on applying schema and cognitive models on other areas of mathematics.
As educators, we have to understand that teaching and learning is a process to transfer
knowledge and skill. Mathematics is not only about drilling and practice, most
importantly it is about thinking and reasoning. We show them how to solve the
problem, not meaning that they understand the way to solve the problem; Even if they
can understand it, not meaning that they can solve it in future. How to aid students to
build up such ability and knowledge structure is always more important than asking
students to practise and practise. The role of a mathematics teacher is much more
important than the books, or the exercises. Cognitive models provide a foundation for
us to understand our students mind, however the most important thing is, we have to
bear in mind to keep thinking on our students thinking during our classroom
practice.

68!

Appendix
Appendix 1:
Pre-test question Part+1:+Theorem+Name+Questions+
1. !

O!is!the!centre!of!circle!ABC.!!Write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!

[O!

!ABC!

!x!

O(

]!

C(

A(
B(

2.!!

AB!is!the!diameter!of!circle!ABCD.!!Write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!

[AB!

!ABCD!

!x!

]!

C(
D(

A(

B(

!
!
!
!
!
!

69!

!
3.!

O!is!the!centre!of!circle!ABC.!!Write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!

[O!

!ABC!

!x!

]!

C(
O(

A(
B(

4.!

AD!is!the!tangent!of!circle!ABC.!!Write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!

[AD!

!ABC!

!x!

]!

B(
A(

5.!!

!
D(
C(
The!figure!shows!the!circle!ABCD!with!AB!=!BC.!Write!down!the!value!of!x!
with!reason.!

A(

!ABCD!

!AB!=!BC

!x!

]!

70!

B(

C(

D(

!
6. !

O!is!the!centre!of!circle!ABC.!!Write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!

[O!

!ABC!

!x!

]!

!
!

71!

Appendix 2:
Pre-test question Part+2:+MC+Question+(Without+written+procedure)+
!
1.!

In!the!figure,!XAB!and(XDC!are!straight!lines.!If!DX!=!18,!AX!=!20!and!AB!=!
16,!find!CD.!

XAB!

!XDC!

!DX!=!18 AX!=!20!

AB!=!16

]!

C(

A.!

14!

B.!

14.4!

C.!

160
!
9

CD

D.!

D(
18!
X(

22!

20!

16!

A(

B(

!
!
2.!

In!the!figure,!OABCD!is!a!semiTcircle!with!centre!O.!If!BC!//!OD!and!

BAC = 28 ,!find! ODC .!

ODC

OABCD!
]!

!O!

BC!//!OD!

! BAC = 28
O(

A(

!
!

A.!

56 !

B.!

59 !

C.!

62 !

D.!

68 !

D(

B(
C(

!
!
!

72!

!
3.!

In!the!figure,!CD!is!the!diameter!of!the!circle!ABCD.!CD!and!BA!are!
produced!to!meet!at!E.!If! BCA = 42 !and!BA!=!BC,!find! CEB .!

CD!

!ABCD!

BCA = 42 ! !BA!=!BC

CD!
! CEB

!BA!

!E

]!

!
!

A.!

26 !

B.!

36 !

C.!

42 !

D.!

48 !

C(
(

D(
E(

A(

B(

!
!
!
4.!

In!the!figure,!AF!is!the!tangent!to!circle!BCDE.!If! EDB = 40 ,!

AED = 110 !and! BCD = 150 .!Find! BAE .!


!

AF(

BCD = 150

! EDB = 40

!BCDE!
BAE

]!

AED = 110 ! !
A(

E(

A.!

40 !

B.!

60 !

C.!

70 !

D.!

30 !

B(
D(
F(

C(

73!

5.!

In!the!figure,!A,!B,!C!and!D!are!points!on!the!circle!and!O!is!the!centre.!XY!is!

tangent!to!the!circle!at!A.!AC!and!BD!meet!at!E.!If! XAB = 67 !and!

CDB = 38 ,!then! AEB = !

AC(

!BD(

C(
!E

!D(

!O(
! XAB = 67 !

XY(

! CDB = 38

! AEB = ]!

X(

A.!

104 !

B.!

105 !

C.!

119 !

D.!

134 !

!
B(

O( E(

!
!

!A

A(

D(

Y(

C(

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

74!

Appendix 4:
Pre-test question Part+3:+MC+Question+Part+1:+MC+Question+(With+written+
procedures)+
!
1.!

In!the!figure,!the!centre!of!the!circle!ACD!lies!on!the!circle!BCD.!If!

CAD = 50 ,!find! CBD .!

!ACD!

! CAD = 50

!BCD!

! CBD

]!

!
!

A.!

40 !

B.!

65 !

C.!

80 !

D.!

130 !

D(
B(

A(

C(

!
!
!
2.!

In!the!figure,!O!is!the!centre!of!the!circle!PQR.!If! QPR = 28 !and!

QRP = 36 ,!find! POR .!

POR

O!

!PQR!

! QPR = 28 !

! QRP = 36

]!

!
!

A.!

58 !

B.!

64 !

C.!

128 !

D.!

232 !

O(

R(
(

(
P(

Q(
75!

3.!

In!the!figure,!O!is!centre!of!the!circle.!If! AB : CD = 1: 2 !and! AOB = 60 ,!


find!AB!:!CD.!

! AB : CD = 1: 2 !

O!

! AOB = 60

!AB!:!CD

]!

D(

A.!

1!:!2!

B.!

1!:!3!

C.!

1: 3 !

D.!

2: 3 !

A(

( O(
C(
B(

!
!
!
!
!
!
4.!

In!the!figure,!ADE,!BCE!and!DPC!are!tangents!to!the!circle.!If! DEC = 40 !

and! APD = 37 ,!find! BAP .!

APD = 37

ADE

BCE!

! DEC = 40 !

!DPC!

! BAP

]!

!
!

A.!

33 !

B.!

35 !

C.!

37 !

D.!

70 !

A(
D(

P(

(
(

B(

C(

E(

76!

!
5.!

GC!and!AB!are!tangent!to!the!circle!ABC!and!CDE!respectively.!Which!of!
the!following!statements!is!true?!

[GC(

!AB(

!ABC!

!CDE!

]!

!
!

I.!

ADC = CED !

II.!

DEA = CDE !

III.!

DCG = CBA !

B(

D(

A(

A.!

I!only![

!I]!

B.!

I!and!III!only![

C.!

II!and!III!only![

!II!

D.!

I,!II!and!III![I

!III]!

G(

II!

E(

F(
C(

!III]!
!III]!

!
!
!
!
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

77!

Appendix 4:
Pre-test question Part+Part+4:+Conventional+Question
1.!

In!the!figure,! AB : BC : CA = 1: 3: 5 .!D!is!a!point!on!AC!such!that! BD AC .!

Find! DBA .!
[
DBA

! BD AC

AB : BC : CA = 1: 3: 5 D! !AC!

]!

!
!
A(

D(

!
!

C(

B(

!
!
!
2.!

In!the!figure,!AC!and!BD!intersect!at!F.!ADE!and!BCE!are!straight!lines.!If!

DB = DE !and! CBD = 26 ,!find ! AFD .!

CBD = 26

AC!

!BD!

!F ADE!
! AFD

]!
D(

A(

E(

F(

C(

!
!

! DB = DE !

!BCE!

(
B(

78!

3.!

In!the!figure,!AFC!is!the!diameter!of!the!circle!ABCD.!CE!is!the!tangent!to!
the!circle!at!C!and!EBFD!is!a!straight!line.!If! CED = 43 !and! ADB = 58 ,!
find! BAD .!
[

AFC!

!ABCD!

! CED = 43 !

CE!

! ADB = 58

!C!
! BAD

!EBFD!

]!

!
!

C(

D(

F(

A(

B(

E(

!
!
!
4.!

In!the!figure,!DE!is!the!tangent!of!the!circle!ABC!which!touches!at!A.!If!

BAC = 84 !and!BA!=!BD,!find! CAE .!

DE!
! CAE

!ABC!

! BAC = 84 !

!A!

!BA!=!BD

]!

E(

!
A(

!
!

D(

B(

C(

79!

5.!

In!the!figure,!CA!and!CE!are!tangents!to!the!circle!at!A!and!D!respectively.!
AKD,!! BKE,!CDE!and!ABC!are!straight!lines.!If! ABK = 75 !and!

KED = 25 ,!!find! AKE .!


[
ABC!

CA!

!CE(
! ABK = 75 !

!A!

!D(

! KED = 25

AKD

BKE

! AKE

]!

CDE!! !

!
!

A(

!
B(

!
!

(
K(
(

!
!

C(

D(

E(

!
!

80!

Appendix 5:
Pre-test question Part+5:+Word>only+Problems+
1.!

O!is!the!center!of!the!inscribed!circle!of! ABC .!If! OAC = 30 !and!

OCA = 20 ,!find! ABC .!

[O!

ABC

! ABC !

! OAC = 30 !

! OCA = 20

]!

!
!
!
!
2.!

AE!is!the!diameter!of!the!semiTcircle!ABCDE.!If!BC!=!CD!=!DE!and!

ABC = 134 ,!find! AED .!

[AE!

AED

!ABCDE!

!BC!=!CD!=!DE!

! ABC = 134

]!

!
!
!
3.!

O!is!the!centre!of!the!circle!and!AP!is!the!tangent!to!the!circle!at!P.!If!AOB!is!
a!straight!line!and!AP!=!BP,!find! PBO .!
[O!

PBO

!AP!

!P!

!AOB!

!AP!=!BP

]!

!
!

81!

Appendix 6:
Pre-test question Part+6:+The+Open>ended+Question+
+
1.!

Given!that:!

1.!

PQ!is!the!diameter!of!semiTcircle!PBQ!and!tangent!of!circle!ABC!at!O!

2.!

O!is!the!center!of!semiTcircle!PBQ!

3.!

BPQ = 20 !and! ABP = 50 !

Find!as!many!angles!as!you!can!

1.!

PQ!

2.!

O!

3.!

BPQ = 20 ! ! ABP = 50 !

:!
!PBQ!
!PBQ!

!ABC!

!O!

]!

!
!
!
!
!

D(

!
!
!

E(
F(

!
!
!

82!

Appendix 7:
Post-test question sets Part+1:+Theorem+Name+Questions
!
1.!

In!the!figure,!O!is!the!centre!of!circle!ABNM.!If!AB!=!MN!and!OP!=!5!cm,!
write!down!the!length!of!OQ!with!reason.!

OQ!

O!

!ABNM!

AB!=!MN!

!OP!=!5!cm

!
B(

]!

P(

!
A(

O(

!
M(

N(

Q(

!
!
!
!
!
!
2.!

In!the!figure,!O!is!the!centre!of!semiTcircle!ABCD.!If!ADE!is!a!straight!line,!
write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!

O!

!ABCD!

ADE!

!x!

]!

B(

C(

!
!

x(
A(

D(
83!

E(

!
!
!
!
3.!

In!the!figure,!O!is!the!centre!of!circle!ABC.!Write!down!the!value!of!x!with!

reason.!

O!

!ABC!

!x!

]!

A(

!
!
B(

x(
C(

O(

!
!
!

84!

4.!

In!the!figure,!AB(is!the!diameter!of!circle.!If!CD!is!the!tangent!of!the!circle!
at!B,!! write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!

AB(

CD!

!B!

!x!

]!

D(

B(
x(

C(

!
!
!
A(

!
!
!
!
!
!
5.!

In!the!figure,! BC : AD = 2 : 5 .!Write!down!the!value!of!x!with!reason.!

BC : AD = 2 : 5

!x!

]!
A(

!
x(

!
!
!
!

(
B(

D(

C(

!
!
!

85!

!
!
6.!

In!the!figure,!TA!and!TB!are!the!tangents!which!touches!the!circle!at!A!and!
B.!If!! TA!=!10!cm,!write!down!the!length!of!TB!with!reason.!

TA!

!TB!
!TB!

!A!

!B!

!TA!=!10!cm
A(

]!

!
!
!

T(

B(

86!

Appendix 8:
Post-test question sets Part+2:+MC+Question+(Without+written+procedure)+
!
1.!

In!the!figure,!AEC!is!a!diameter!and!DEB!is!a!straight!line.!Find!x.!

AEC!

A.!

82 !

B.!

113 !

!x

]!

A(

C.!

121 !

D.!

123 !

( E(

B(

x(

D(

C(

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
2.!

In!the!figure,! AB : BC : CD = 2 : 3: 2 !and! CAD = 42 .!Find! DCA .!

AB : BC : CD = 2 : 3: 2 ! ! CAD = 42

! DCA

]!
D(

A(
!

A.!

12 !

B.!

21 !

C.!

33 !

D.!

75 !

(
C(

B(

87!

3.!

In!the!figure,!ABCD!is!a!semiTcircle!and!AB!=!BC.! ACB = !

ABCD!

!AB!=!BC

ACB = ]!

A(

A.!

15 !

B.!

20 !

C.!

25 !

D.!

30 !

D(
(

B(
C(

!
!
!
!
!
4.!

DA!and!DC!are!equal!chords!of!the!circle!ABCD.! DCB = 68 !and!

BDC = 75 .! ADB = !

[DA!

!DC!

!ABCD!

DCB = 68 ! ! BDC = 75

ADB = ]!

!
!

A.!

31 !

B.!

37 !

C.!

55 !

D.!

75 !

A(

D(
(
( C(

B(

!
!
!

88!

!
5.!

In!the!figure,!the!tangent!touches!the!circle!at!B!and!AD!is!the!diameter!of!
the!!

circle.!If! ABE = 60 ,!find! DCB .!

DCB

ABE = 60

AD

A(

A. 10
B. 30

D(

C. 50
D. 70

C(

B(

E(

89!

Appendix 9:
Post-test question sets MC+Question+(With+written+procedure)!
!
1.!

In!the!figure,!ABCD!is!a!circle.!If!AC!is!a!diameter!of!the!circle!and!AB!=!BD,!

then! BDA = !

ABCD!

!AC!

!AB!=!BD

D(

A.!

54 !

B.!

57 !

C.!

63 !

! BDA = ]!

D.!

C(

72 !
B(

A(

!
!
2.!

In!the!figure,!ABCD!is!a!semiTcircle,!ADE!and!BCE!are!straight!line.!If!

BCA = 34 !and! BEA = 23 ,!find!x.!

BEA = 23

A.!

B.!

!
!
!
!

ABCD!

ADE!
!x

BCA = 34 !

!BCE!

]!
B(

C.!

33 !
34 !
45 !

D.!

56 !

x(
A(

C(
(
D(

E(

!
!

90!

3.!

In!the!figure,!chords!AC!and!BD!meet!at!E!and!AD!//!BC.!If! CED = 78 ,!
find!!

DAE .!

AC!

DAE

!BD!

!E!

!AD!//!BC

! 78
D(

]!

A(

E(

!
!

A.!

39 !

B.!

41 !

C.!

49 !

D.!

51 !

C(
B(

!
!
!
!
!
4.!

In!the!figure,!ABCD!is!a!rhombus.!B!is!the!centre!of!the!circle.! ABC = !

ABCD!

B!

ABC = ]!
D(

!
!

A.!

105 !

B.!

120 !

C.!

130 !

D.!

135 !

A(

C(
B(

!
!
!

91!

!
!
5.!

In!the!figure,!BE!is!tangent!to!the!circle!at!B.!If!AC!and!BD!intersect!at!F,!
find!!

CFB .!

BE!

!B!

!AC!

!BD!

! CFB

!F

!
!

A.!

104 !

B.!

106 !

C.!

108 !

D.!

140 !

]!
D(

A(

(
F(

E(

(
B(

!
!

92!

C(

Appendix 10:
Post-test question sets Part+4:+Conventional+Question+
1.!

BD!is!a!straight!line!that!passes!through!the!centre!of!the!circle.!If!

CBE = 65 !! and!AB!=!BC,!find! ABD .!


!

[BD!

ABD

! CBE = 65 !

!AB!=!BC

A(

]!

!
!

B(
E(

D(

!
C(

!
2.!

In!the!figure,!ABCD!is!a!cyclic!quadrilateral.!If! CAB = 100 !and!BC!=!BD,!

find! DAC .!

DAC

! CAB = 100 !

ABCD(
]!

A(

!BC!=!BD
C(

!
!
!
B(

D(

!
!

93!

3.!

In!the!figure!below,!O!is!the!centre!of!the!circle.!OAE!and!CBD!are!straight!
lines.!! If!A,!B,!D,!E!are!concyclic!points,!then! = !

O!

OAE!

!CBD!

D(

!E!

! = ]!

!
!
!

E(

A(
(

O(

!
C(

D(

B(

!
!
!
!
!
In the figure, CE is the tangent of the circle and DCE = 70 . If

4.

AB : BC = 1: 2 , find ACE .
[

CE

DCE = 70

ACE

AB : BC = 1: 2

A(
!

B(

!
!
!
!

F(

C(

E(
D(

94!

5.!

In!the!figure,!the!tangents!at!P!and!Q!meet!at!T.!Find! PRQ .!

!P!

!Q!

!T

! PRQ

]!

T(

(
R(

P(

Q(

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

95!

Appendix 11:
Post-test question sets Part+5:+Word+Question+
!
1.!

TA!and!TB!are!tangents!to!the!circle!ABC!at!A!and!B!respectively.!If!

ACB = 56 ,!find! ATB .!

[TA!

!TB!

!ABC!

!A!

!B

! ACB = 56

! ATB

]!

!
!
2.!

Straight!lines!AB,!AC!and!BC!are!the!tangents!of!the!circle!DFE!which!
touches!the!circle!at!D,!E!and!F!respectively.!If!the!perimeter!of!the! ABC !
is!36!cm,!find!the!length!of!AD.!
[

!AB

AC!
!36!cm

!BC!

!DFE!
!AD!

!D

E!

! ABC !

!F!

]!

!
!
3.!

ABCD!is!a!semi!circle!with!centre!O!and!diameter!AD.!If! ABC = 130 ,!

find!!

[ABCD!

ACO

ACO .!
!O!

!AD!

! ABC = 130

]!

96!

Reference
Anderson, J. R. (1983). The architecture of cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press.
Baddeley, A. (1992). Working memory. Science 255. pp556-558
Bartlett, F. C. (1932) Remembering - a study in experimental and social psychology.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1932.
Byrnes, J. P. ; Wasik, B. A. (1991) Role of Conceptual Knowledge in Mathematical
Procedural Learning, Developmental Psychology, 1991, Vol.27(5), pp.777-786
Cambridge ESOL (2010) Teaching Maths through English a CLIL approach,
University of Cambridge ESAL Examinations
Chandler P., Sweller J. (1992) The Split-attention effect as a factor in the design of
instruction. British Journal of Educational Psychology. Vol.62, 233-246.
CHINNAPPAN, M. (1998). SCHEMAS AND MENTAL MODELS IN GEOMETRY
PROBLEM SOLVING, Educational Studies in Mathematics 36: 201217, 1998.
Clement, J., Lockhead, J. and Monk, G. (1981) Translation difficulties in Learning
Mathematics, American Mathematical Monthly 88, 286-290
Collis K.F. (1992) Curriculum and assessment: A basic cognitive model. Assessment
and Learning of Mathematics. 24-45
Cooney,! T.J.,! W.B.! Sanchez,! K.! Leatham,! &! D.S.! Mewborn.! (2004).! OpenTEnded!
Assessment!in!Math:!A!Searchable!Collection!of!450+!Questions.!Heinemann(

97!

Cuevas G.J. (1984) Mathematics Learning in English as a Second Language


Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Vol. 15, No. 2, 134-144
De Groot, A.D. (1966) Perception and memory versus thought: some old ideas and
recent findings. In B. Kleinmuntz (Ed.), Problem solving (pp. 19-50). New York:
Wiley.
DiMaggio, P. (1997). Culture and cognition. Annual Review Of Sociology, 23263287. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.23.1.263
Duval, R. (1998). Geometry from a cognitive point of view. In C. Mammana & V.
Villani (Eds.), Perspectives on the teaching of geometry for the 21st century (pp. 37
52). Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Duval, R. (2014). Commentary: Linking epistemology and semio-cognitive modeling
in visualization. ZDM Mathematics Education 46:159-170
Education & Manpower Bureau HKSAR (2003) Assessment for learning (Secondary
Mathematics) The open-ended Questions
English, L. D. and Halford, G. S.: 1995, Mathematics Education: Models and
processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
George, Ellen D. (1993) The cognitive psychology of school learning. Pp347-385.
Harper Collins
Grouws D.A. and Meier S.L. (1992) Teaching and assessment relationships in
mathematics instruction. Assessment and Learning of Mathematics. 83-106
Halliday, M. A. K. (1975). Some aspects of sociolinguistics. Interactions between

98!

linguistics and mathematics education, 64-73.


Hazzon O. and Leron, U.: 1996, Students use and misuse of mathematical theorem:
The case of Lagranges theorem, For the Learning of Mathmatics 16(1) 23-26
Husain H., Bais B., Hussain A., Samad S.A. (2011) How to Construct Open Ended
Questions, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 60 (2012) 456 462
Inhelder, B., & Piaget, J. (1980). Procedures and structures. In D. R. Olson (Ed.), The
social foundations of language and thought (pp.19-27). New York: Norton.
Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P. and Sweller, J. (1998) Human Factors; Mar 1998; 40, 1;
ProQuest
Kwon! O.N.,! Park! J.S.! and! Park! J.H.! (2006)! Cultivating! Divergent! Thinking! in!
Mathematics! through! an! OpenTEnded! Approach.! Asia! Pacific! Education! Review.!
2006,!Vol.7,!1,!51T61!
Lawson!M.J.!and!Chinnappan!M.!(1994)!!Generative)Activity)during)Geometry)
Problem(Solving:(Comparison(of(the(Performance(of!HighTAchieving)and!LowT
Achieving)High)School)Students.!!Cognition'and'Instruction,'Vol.'12,'No.'1',!pp."61T
93!!
Marilla D. Svinicki (2006) Helping Students do well in class: Games. Observer
Vol.19, No.8 Oct 2006.
Marr, D. (1982). Vision. A computational investigation into the human representation
and processing of visual information. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company.
Miller, G.A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limites on
our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 63, 81-97.

99!

Nadkarni, S., & Narayanan, V. K. (2007). Strategic schemas, strategic flexibility, and
firm performance: The moderating role of industry Cclockspeed. Strategic
Management Journal, 28(3), 243-270. doi:10.1002/smj.576
Nesher, P. and Hershkovitz, S.: 1994, The role of schemes in two-step problems:
Analysis and research findings, Educational Studies in Mathematics 26, 123.
Piaget, J., & Cook, M. T. (1952). The origins of intelligence in children. New York,
NY: International University Press.
Presmeg, N. (1997). Generalization using imagery in mathematics. In L. English (Ed.),
Mathematical reasoninganalogies, metaphors and images (pp. 299313). Mahwah:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
Rama! Klavir! &! Sarah! Hershkovitz! (2008)Teaching( and( evaluating( openbended(
problems,(International(Journal(for(Mathematics(Teaching(and(Learning,(2008b5.!!
Resnick!L.B.!&!Ford!W.W.(1981)!The!Psychology!of!mathematics!for!instruction.!
L.Erlbaum!Associates.!!
Schoenfeld, A. H.: 1985, Mathematical problem solving. New York: Academic Press
Schoenfeld, A. H.: 1987, On having and using geometric knowledge. In J. Hiebert
(ed.), Conceptual and procedural knowledge (pp 225264). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence
Erlbaum.
Sweller, J.: 1989, Cognitive technology: Some procedures for facilitating learning,
problem solving in mathematics and science, Journal of Educational Psychology 81,
457466.
Sweller, J., Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning, Cognitive

100!

Science, 12, 257-285 (1988).


Sweller, J., Instructional Design in Technical Areas, (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia:
Australian Council for Educational Research (1999).
Sweller, J., Van Merrinboer, J., & Paas, F. (1998). Cognitive architecture and
instructional design. Educational Psychology Review 10: 251296.
Uri Leron, Orit Hazzan: 2006, The Rationality Debate: Application of Cognitive
Psychology to Mathematics Education , Educational Studies in Mathematics, 2006,
Vol.62(2),

pp.105-126

[Peer

Reviewed

Journal],

Accessible

at

http://link.springer.com.eproxy1.lib.hku.hk/article/10.1007/s10649-006-4833-1
Wu H. (1993) The Role of Open-ended problems in Mathematics Education.
Department of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley.

101!