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# ISSN 0883-9530

JOURNAL FOR

RESEARC IN

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MONOGRAPHNUMBER 3

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National Council of Teachers Mathematics of

**A Monograph Series of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
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The JRME monograph series is published by the Editorial Panel as a supplement to the journal. Each monograph has a single theme related to the learning or teaching of mathematics. To be considered for publication, a manuscript should be (a) a set of reports of coordinated studies, (b) a set of articles synthesizing a large body of research, (c) a single treatise that examines a major research issue, or (d) a report of a single research study that is too lengthy to be published as a journal article. Proposals for a monograph may be sent at any time to the monograph series editor. A proposal must contain the following items: 1. An outline of the work with enough detail to permit an evaluation of its significance for mathematics education 2. The names, affiliations, and qualifications of the contributing authors 3. A time line for the development of the monograph If a draft manuscript of no more than 200 double-spaced typewritten pages has already been produced, four copies of it should be enclosed with the proposal. Any other information about the nature of the monograph that might assist the series editor and the Editorial Panel in its review is welcome. Series Editor FRANK K. LESTER,JR., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 Associate Editor DIANA LAMBDIN KROLL, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 Editorial Panel FRANK K. LESTER,JR., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405; Chairman DOUGLAS H. CLEMENTS, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242 JAMES HIEBERT, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 MIRIAM A. LEIVA, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223 J. MICHAEL SHAUGHNESSY, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 ALBA G. THOMPSON, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61761 MARY M. LINDQUIST, Columbus College, Columbus, GA 31993; Board Liaison Proposals for monographs should be sent to Frank K. Lester, Jr. Room 309, Education Building Indiana University Bloomington, IN 47405.

This researchprojectwas supported (1980-83) undera grant(#SED 7920640) from the Research in Science Education(RISE) Programof the NationalScience Foundation. The membersof the Staff are faculty at BrooklynCollege, City Universityof New York and include: David Project Fuys, DorothyGeddes, C. James Lovett and RosamondTischler. The materialcontainedin this monographshould not be interpretedas representingthe opinions or policies of the National Science Foundation. and Illustrations drawingsin this manuscript by RosamondW. Tischler,with the exceptionof are the title page and the end page, which come from the doctoralthesis of Dina van Hiele-Geldof (1957/1984).

Copyright ? 1988 by THE NATIONALCOUNCILOF TEACHERSOF MATHEMATICS, INC. 1906 AssociationDrive, Reston, VA 22091 All rightsreserved

Second printing 1995

The publications of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics present a variety of viewpoints. The views expressedor implied in this publication,unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted official positionsof the Council. as

Printedin the United States of America

FOREWORD My relationswith BrooklynCollege began in 1980. It was an importantdate for two reasons. First, the Brooklyn College Projecttranslatedinto English some of my writings and those of my late wife, thus making my theory available to a wider audience. Second, it markedthe beginningof the collection of experimental datain the UnitedStatesto support theory. The clinical interviewsconductedby my the Brooklyn College Project confirmedmy predictionthat even after pupils had some years of instructionin geometry,theirperformancewould be disappointing. The Project also found that many pupils were able to improve their performance when the instruction changedin accordance was with my theory. The van Hiele model contains recommendationsto change textbooks. The BrooklynCollege investigationmade clear thatin the geometrymaterialsin grades K-8 textbooksthe van Hiele levels aremixedup--notsequenced--and becauseof this the higherlevels are rarelyreached. Frommy own work and that of the Brooklyn College Projectcertainresultsareevident: * We know the shortcomings traditional of instruction ways to improveit. and * We know thatinstruction mustbe adjustedto accountfor the differentphases of the learningprocess. * We know thattextbooksmust be rewrittento accountfor the variousphases of the learningprocess. * We know thatinstruction level 0 can be given at an earlyage andvery often at oughtto be given at thatage. Futureinvestigations applications my theoriesin mathematics also in and of and othersubjectsincludethe following: (1) Textbooksof geometrycan be designedin accordance with the levels. (2) A greatdeal of geometryof level 0 can be given at the primaryschool with childrenof 6-10 years (justlike in the Soviet Union). can to (3) Investigations be started learnmore aboutlevel 0 of arithmetic.Such investigationsrelateto childrenof ages 1-6. The methodsneeded to stimulatesuch childrenare quite differentfrom those needed to stimulateolder childrenbecause theiractions, for the most part,are determined innermotives. by

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Fromthe very beginninga readerof this textbookis fascinatedby the sequencingof the material. Fromthe above we may concludethatthe BrooklynCollege investigations have new perspectives. For this topic the sequencing of the levels is quite complicated. M. I hope that in the future I too will make opened up many in contributions exploringthese new perspectives.This can be with geometryof level 0. van Hiele iv . much of level 0 of physicsmustbe providedby instruction.(4) An investigationcan be startedto analyze the levels in physics.The Netherlands P. The specialization and mechanizationof modem life is such that level 0 of physics is invisible to a great extent. March12. 1988 Voorburg. So. given at the same time andeven coordinated (5) I have seen a textbook on economics which takes the levels into account. It is worththinkingaboutthe use of the levels in such othertopics.

................. ................................. AnotherFrameof Referencefor the Levels ................................................. v .......................... Formulation the van Hiele Model............. of Level Descriptors SampleStudentResponses ........Documentation Use of Level Descriptors ........ Levels andTheirCharacteristics... and Development............... Modules ........................................................ Objectives..................................... ........ II ... 4................................................................. 5.......................... Group .............. 3... Level2 ... 2.............. Preface ....................... Group GroupIII ........................................ I ................ of DevelopmentandValidation the Modules .................. ...............v........ Research Methods....... Documentation .. Chapter Instructional of MajorCharacteristics Modules ............................ ........................TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Foreword................................................................................................. Chapter The van Hiele Model ........................... Overviewof Project..... Chapter ClinicalStudy:Interviewswith Sixth GradeSubjects . An Results: Overview.................. of Translation Writingsof the van Hieles ... Chapter Van Hiele Level Descriptors: DevelopmentandDocumentation.. Level3 ...........................58 and Level 0 ... Subjects......................... ........... List of Tables ............ Background..................................................... iii vii ix 1 1 4 4 5 8 8 11 11 15 17 29 44 56 56 58 60 64 69 71 72 77 78 78 78 82 85 89 Chapter1................................................. Module1 ......... ............................................ Module2 ....... Level4 .... ........... Module3 .... Level 1 ................. Design andAnalyses .....................................................

......................................... Discussionof the Instructional 99 99 99 101 104 118 . Chapter10... Subjects................................. Procedure.............................................................. Group GroupVI ..... Teachers' Responsesto SelectedModuleActivities .................. Group .. Implicationsfor FutureResearch .......... Research ......... 133 133 135 139 141 142 144 144 144 145 151 153 154 157 157 157 161 172 175 180 180 183 186 192 8.................................................................................................. Chapter Discussionof Findingsof ClinicalStudy...................................... Levels of Thinking . vi ...... Implications for Implications ProjectLevel Descriptorsand Their Use .. Procedure.......................................................... ImplicationsandQuestionsfor Further aboutthe Levels ........... Goal ......... V .................................. gs Text Presentation ThreeContentStrandsAs Relatedto of van Hiele Didactics.............................................. Implications ....... Summaryof Students' on Performance Modules........ 7.......................................6..... Teachers' and for Implications TeacherPreparation ClassroomPractice.... Findin ................ IV ...... Chapter Text Analysis ................................ Retentionof Students' Modules.... Chapter ClinicalInterviewswith Preserviceand InserviceTeachers ........ Commentson Instructional Teachers' of Identification van Hiele ThoughtLevels .................................................................. Levels of Thinking ......................................... Chapter ClinicalStudy:Interviewswith NinthGradeSubjects. Bibliography. An Results: Overview ................................... 9.............. Subjects......................... ModuleActivities ...................... FactorsAffectingStudents' Levels of Thinkingon SpecificTasks.........

... AchievementTest Scoresand ModulesCompleted SixthGraders ......... Sixth Graders' 3... 6. AchievementTest Scores andModulesCompleted NinthGraders.............. by Level of Thinkingon Key ModuleActivities ...... ...79 by Level of Thinkingon Key ModuleActivities ..... 4.... Percentof Lessons at MaximumLevel 0....... Percentof Lessonswith ExercisesAll at Level 0 or "Unassignable" vii .LIST OF TABLES Table 1........ 1 or 2 .. 2. 80 100 102 167 168 Page ... NinthGraders' 5.

Chapter4 also contains documentationof the level descriptorsusing quotations from the writingsof Dina van Hiele-GeldofandPierrevan Hiele. In Chapters5. grades K-8. supported under grant number SED 7920640 from the Research in Science EducationProgramof the NationalScience Foundation. an overview of the Projectand its four majorgoals is given. is describedin Chapter2. in light of the van Hiele levels is set forth in Chapter 9. in terms of specific student behaviors. as initially characterized van Hiele and others. An analysisof the geometrystrandin threeUnitedStatesmathematics textbook series. Instructional and Angle Sum for Polygons. it containsthe complete dissertationof Dina ix . It should be noted that the Projecthas also publisheda monographcontaining translations significantworks of the van Hieles in orderto provide the Englishof researchcommunitywith a resourcethatwill shed more light on the van speaking Hiele model. The theoretical model.PREFACE This monograph presents a report of the research project entitled: An of Investigation the Van Hiele Model of Thinkingin GeometryAmong Adolescents. Among otherwritings. namely. The performancesof eight preservice and five inservice teachers on selected activities from the instructional modulesare analyzedand reported Chapter in 8. and implicationsof the study for classsroom practice. is are presentedin a later chaptersince the level descriptors most easily understoodif one is familiarwith the context(instructional modules)in which they are examined. using the Project's instructional modules. Area of Polygons) are set forth. 6 and 7. teachertrainingand curriculumdesign--as well as questionsfor furtherresearchare discussedin Chapter10. 2 and 3 (Properties Polygons. are analyzed and discussed and the findings are summarized. is. the individualperformancesof 32 students (16 sixth graders and 16 ninth graders) during approximately six hours of one-to-one videotaped clinical interviews. Chapter4 follows with the Project'sformulationof the van Hiele model and level descriptorswith sample student responses to questions or activities in the instructionalmodules. Implicationsof the Project'sstudy--that theoreticalimplicationsaboutthe nature of the van Hiele levels and methods of determiningthem. In Chapter1. Angle Measurement of tool. The by Project's elaboration of these levels.the van Hiele levels andphaseswithinlevels of thinking. the developmentand detaileddescriptionof the Project's research Modules 1. In Chapter3.The focus of this research was the conductand analysisof six hoursof clinical interviewswith sixth andninth grade students to investigate how they learn geometry in light of the van Hiele model.

numberED 287 697). The monographis entitled:English Translationof Selected Writingsof Dinavan Hiele-GeldofandPierreM. ResourcesInformation x .van Hiele-Geldof: The Didactics of Geometryin the Lowest Class of Secondary School. van Hiele andis availablethroughEducational Center(ERIC.

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VAN HIELE MODEL ~THE OF THINKING IN GEOMETRY AMONG ADOLESCENTS

David Fuys, Dorothy Geddes,andRosamondTischler BrooklynCollege City Universityof New York

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CHAPTER 1

OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY This monographis the resultof a three-year researchprojectwhich focused on a model of geometrylearningpresentedin 1957 by the Dutch educatorsP. M. van Hiele andhis late wife, Dina van Hiele-Geldof.This model has motivatedconsiderable researchand resultant changesin geometrycurriculum Soviet educators,and by in recentyears, interesthas been growingin the UnitedStates. This Project,funded Researchin Science EducationProgram, was by the NationalScience Foundation, one of three federally funded investigations of the model during 1980-83. References to the other projects (William Burger, Oregon State University and ZalmanUsiskin, Universityof Chicago)are includedin the bibliography. The van Hiele model identifiesfive levels of thinkingin geometry. According to this model, the learner,assisted by appropriate instructional experiences,passes throughthese levels beginning with recognition of shapes as a whole (level 0), progressing to discovery of properties of figures and informal reasoning about these figures and their properties(levels 1 and 2), and culminatingin a rigorous study of axiomatic geometry (levels 3 and 4). The van Hieles have developed curriculummaterials (in Dutch) based on their model, and others, especially the Soviets, have also appliedit to curriculum development. Research Objectives, Methods, Design and Analyses The general question that this research addressed is whether the van Hiele model describeshow studentslearngeometry. Therewere four main objectives: (1) To develop and documenta workingmodel of the van Hiele levels, based on severalsourceswhich the Projecthad translated fromDutch into English. the (2) To characterize thinkingin geometryof sixth andninthgradersin termsof levels--in particular,at what levels are students?,do they show potentialfor progress within a level or to a higher level?, and what difficulties do they encounter?. (3) To determineif teachersof grades6 and 9 can be trainedto identifyvan Hiele levels of geometrythinkingof studentsand of geometrycurriculum materials. (4) To analyzecurrentgeometrycurriculum evidencedby Americantext series as (gradesK-8) in light of the van Hiele model. The first objectivewas achieved afteran analysisof van Hiele source material, in particular,Dina van Hiele-Geldofs doctoralthesis (1957/1984) and Pierrevan Hiele's article (1959/1984), "Lapensee de l'enfantet la geometrie,"which were unavailable in English until the Project translatedthem. (See Fuys, Geddes, &

2

of Tischler, 1984, EnglishTranslation Selected Writingsof Dina van Hiele-Geldof andPierreM. van Hiele.) Based on specific quotationsfromthe van Hiele sources, the Project formulateda detailed model of the levels (see Chapter4 for level Alan Hofferand descriptors).Pierrevan Hiele andtwo othervan Hiele researchers, and WilliamBurger,examinedthe level descriptors validatedthemfor each level. The second objectivewas achievedthrougha clinical studythatwas carriedout in several phases. The first involved the development and validation of three modules based on the model and designed for use as a researchtool in clinical interviews. Modules dealt with Propertiesof Quadrilaterals, Angle Relationships for Polygons, and Area of Quadrilaterals. module on Angle Relationshipswas The based on the approaches and materials used by Dina van Hiele-Geldof in her doctoral research which involved a geometry teaching experiment for twelveactivitiesalong with key assessment year-olds. The modules includedinstructional tasksthatwere correlated with specific level descriptors.Moduleswere pilot tested andrevised along with scriptsfor the interviewers.See Chapter3 for description of contentof modulesandfor sampleactivities. To facilitateanalysisof studentresponsesto tasks in the clinical interviews,the Projectdeveloped protocolforms for each module. These forms, to be completed not by reviewersof the videotapes,contained only check lists andquestionsto assess a student's of vocabulary/language, use responsesto differenttasks,responsesto key questions,van Hiele level of response,use of materials,andtypes of difficultiesbut also spaces for reviewers'descriptivecommentsabouta student'sattitude,style of learning, non-verbal communication,and preferenceof materials.The modules, together with the protocol forms, were validated by the researcherscited above againstthe Project'slevel descriptors. In the second phase, clinical interviewswere conductedwith 16 sixth graders and 16 ninth graders. In six to eight 45-minute sessions, these subjects worked throughthe modules with an interviewer(a memberof the Projectstaff). Sessions were videotaped. Each subjectreceiveda smallhonorarium. The final phasedealtwith the analysisof the videotapesand synthesisof results for the sixth andninthgraders. This was done in threestages. First,videotapesfor individual subjects were reviewed by one member of the Project staff who completed detailedprotocol forms. The forms were then summarized(1-2 pages for each module) on each student'sperformance. Summary index cards were prepared noting briefly the student's level of thinking (initial and progress), difficulties,language,learningstyle, andmiscellaneous. The next stage involveda review and validationof the initialanalysisof each student's performance one or by more other members of the Project staff. This review included discussing informationrecordedon the protocolforms and viewing again key portionsof the student'svideotapes. In the final stage of the data analysis, one Projectmember reviewed and synthesized results for the sixth gradersand anotherdid the ninth graders. These overallresultswere then discussedand refinedby the Projectstaff.

3

The Project assessed the "entry"level of thinking of students relative to geometry topics that are commonly studied in grades 4-6. This was done mainly through key questions or tasks throughoutModule 1 and at the beginning of Modules2 and 3. These tasks, to which studentscould respondat levels 0, 1, or 2, were presented with little or no promptingfrom the interviewer, who accepted whateverresponse the studentgave. Since, accordingto the van Hieles, level of thinking is determined in part by prior learning experiences, such "static assessments" may not accuratelyassess the student'sability to think in geometryif the student has had little or no learning experiences on the topic involved. Therefore,the Projectalso assessed whatmight be termedthe student's"potential" level by examining the student's responses as the student moved through the instructionin the interviews. This more dynamic form of assessment during a learning experience, as Dina van Hiele-Geldof did in her teaching experiment, enabledthe Projectto examinechangesin a student's thinking,withina level or to a higherlevel, and also difficultieswhich impededprogress. The thirdobjectivewas achievedthroughone-to-onevideotapedinterviewsby one memberof the Projectstaff with 8 preserviceand 5 inservice teachers. In the first 2-hour session, the teachers worked through selected activities from the instructional modules with the interviewer. In the second session the interviewer described the van Hiele model, showed and discussed videotaped segments of students doing selected activities, and evaluated sample geometry curriculum materials(K-8) accordingto van Hiele levels. In a final session, the teacherswere given sample curriculummaterials to evaluate in terms of the van Hiele levels. They were also shown videotaped segments of two students doing geometry activities and asked to discuss the levels of thinking evidenced by the students. Inservice teachers were also asked to comment on and informally evaluate the of appropriateness the activities in the modules for classroomuse. The preservice and inserviceteachersreceivedhonoraria participating the Project. for in the Concurrently, fourthresearchobjective,an analysis of the geometrystrand of three widely used commercial textbook series (grades K-8), was initiated in orderto determine: (1) what geometrytopics are taughtby gradelevel in orderto measurethe richnessand continuityof instruction;(2) at what van Hiele level the materialsare at each gradelevel; (3) if the van Hiele level of materialis sequenced by grade level; (4) if there are jumps across van Hiele levels; (5) if the text presentationof geometry topics is consistent with didactic principles of the van Hieles. Data forms were used to collect and record each text's page by page introduction use of vocabularyat each gradelevel, the aim of each lesson, and and the van Hiele level of the expository material, of the exercises, and of the test questionsfor each geometrylesson in the threetext series, gradesK-8. The levels of exposition,exercises andtest questionsof a text lesson were determined using by the Project-developed level descriptors. Completeddataforms were analyzedand summarized with comparisons being madeamongthe threetext series.

in particular. in fact. whose work on the role of intuition in the learning of geometry attractedthe attention the Soviets afterhe delivereda paperentitled"Lapensee de l'enfantet la of at educationconferencein Sevres. In 1957 the van Hieles completedcompaniondissertations the at of Utrecht on levels of thinking and the role of insight in learning University geometry. Dina van Hiele-Geldofs work (1957/1984) dealt with a didactic experimentaimed at raisinga student's thoughtlevel. It was geometrie" a mathematics laterin 1959. Frequentreference is made to this paperin the workof published A. What are some causes for these difficulties? During the period from 1930 to 1950.in doing formal proofs. Francein 1957. a Dutch educator. M. Wirszup(1976) reportsthat learning this very significant research has influenced the improvement in the teaching of geometry only slightly. Pyshkalo(1968/1981) as he describesthe Soviet educators' extensiveresearch and experimentationon van Hiele's theory.CHAPTER 2 THE VAN HIELE MODEL Background Experiences of secondary school mathematics teachers indicate that many students encounter difficulties in high school geometry. It is reportedthat the Soviets have on revisedtheirgeometrycurriculum the basis of the van Hiele levels substantially of thinkingin geometry. . M. 76) The first is Jean Piaget and the second is P. the van Hieles were greatly concernedaboutthe difficulties their studentsencounteredwith secondary school geometry. while Pierrevan Hiele (1957) formulatedthe structure thoughtlevels and principlesdesigned to help students of gain insightinto geometry. van Hiele. severalSoviet mathematics educatorsandpsychologistsstudied in geometryand triedto answerthis question. far-reachinginnovationsin the Soviet geometrycurriculum been introduced thanks to Russian research inspired by two Western psychologistsandeducators. The truly radical change and have. They believed thatsecondaryschool geometryinvolves thinking at a relatively high "level" and students have not had sufficient experiences in thinking at prerequisitelower "levels. As experiencedteachersin Montessorisecondaryschools." Their researchwork focused on levels of in thinkingin geometryand the role of instruction helping studentsmove fromone level to the next. (p.

P. the Level 0: The studentidentifies. (1958. 75) Overall. by folding..5 Levels and Their Characteristics instructional Accordingto the van Hieles.the van Hieles made certainobservationsabout the generalnatureof these levels of thinking and their relationship to teaching. where the learner cannot achieveone level of thinkingwithouthavingpassedthrough previouslevels. (p. measuring. passes throughthe following five levels. someonethinkingat level 0 is not awareof these properties. In the meantime. Level 1: The student analyzes figures in terms of their components and of relationshipsamong componentsand discoversproperties/rules a class of shapesempirically(e.but he has no view of his own activity until he has reachedthe new level." They observedthatat certainpoints in instruction the learningprocesshas stopped. At level 0.names.M. Level 4: The studentestablishestheoremsin different postulationalsystems andanalyzes/compares these systems.assisted by appropriate experiences. angles. 246) ..using a grid or diagram). p. van Hiele (1959/1984) notes that at each level thereappearsin an extrinsicway that which was intrinsicat the precedinglevel. comparesand operateson geometric figures (e. perhapshe can imitatecertainactions. He seems to speaka languagewhich cannot be understoodby pupils who have not yet reachedthe new level. Level 3: The student proves theorems deductively and establishes interrelationships amongnetworksof theorems. Lateron it will continueitself as it were. the learner. They might accept the explanationsof the teacher. The van Hieles (1958) noted that learningis a discontinuousprocess and that there are jumps in the learningcurve which reveal the presence of "levels.g. Level 2: The studentlogically interrelates previously discoveredproperties/ rules by giving or following informalarguments. The pupil himself feels helpless.g.but the subjecttaught will not sink into theirminds. triangles. figures were in fact determinedby their but properties.the studentseems to have "matured." The teacherdoes not succeedin explainingthe subject. intersecting or parallel lines) accordingto theirappearance.

54e?r .p i. and at level 4 the objects of thought are the foundation of these ordering relations.cS / c I/ prf.g. ILevel Student 1: Level 2: Student discoversthat gives an ino*pposite argument opposite anglesof parallelograms formal why in areequal by coloring equal anglesareequalusingknown nglesin a gridof parallelograms.1 = 4.i. classes of figures (which were products of level 0 activities).u<t? LEVEL 2 c1UL.4 Objects of thought J\ I 'eSQRAo'E.?. the ordering relations become the objects on which the student operates. 0d clKssus..rcittrit4.. At level 1 the student operates on certain objects. (.. v. At level 2.t/ /l . prts// F^.6 For example: I I I / / A / O c 8 ^AC-_6. the objects of thought are geometric figures.. 14). ot J / 4j o lctl g Rl ^i. (p. Two people who reason at different levels cannot understand each other. yielding logical orderings of these properties.s45 9MI** <. of a relation between a square and a rectangle. saw or ladder). / 4D-- /L 4." . 246) . namely. At level 3. .t. Van Hiele (1959) states that the levels are "characterized by differences in objects of thought" (p. Neither can manage to follow the thought processes of the other.Po?Os'df fOul t oaif{' . 1--3.t . LEVEL 0 S aeprey exp%erece ci. 1.s?.. .ul iir 5 LEVEL 1 (Et. Examples ^ Sq9vrcs oo ?.2 Saw so 4. principles(e. --- 0 ' It s W Structure of thinking So.idP.^. these properties become the objects that the student acts upon. 4. For example. A relation which is "correct"at one level can reveal itself to be incorrect at another.t.iV-t.34. Lset.v.^ rTelSo t. Think.o S$tC ll A sKides iuVft bi .3 Level 0: Student measures angles of a parallelogram.k yvx&t-t C( uSX tI. and discovers properties for these classes. at level 0. for example. tot Van Hiele (1959/1984) also points out that each level has its own linguistic symbols and its own system of relations connecting these symbols.

measuring. and lears technicallanguagewhich accompaniesthe subjectmatter(e. to abstract structures(levels 3-4).. Information: The student gets acquaintedwith the working domain (e.by doing more complex tasks. Guided orientation: The studentdoes tasks involving differentrelationsof the network that is to be formed (e. Accordingto Pierrevan Hiele (1959/1984). For example. 246) The van Hieles point out thatit is possible to presentmaterialto studentsabove their actual level. and integration. tries to express them in words.7 Languagestructureis a criticalfactor in the movement throughthe van Hiele levels--from global (concrete) structures(level 0).are describedas follows with examplesgiven for transition fromlevel 0 to level 1.g. to find his/her own way in the networkof relations(e.guided orientation.g. free orientation. students are given properties for rectangles and memorizethem ratherthandiscoveringpropertiesthemselves (level 1). knowing propertiesof one kind of shape.explicitation. properties of a figure are summarized). Explicitation: The student becomes conscious of the relations.. so that methods of thoughtused at these levels remaininaccessibleto the student. of Free orientation: The studentlearns. . which lead to a higher level of thought. van Hiele notes that many failures in teaching geometry result from a teacherusing the languageof a higherlevel thanis understood languagebarrier--the the student.g. is more dependent upon instructionthan on age or biological maturation. looking for symmetry). progressfrom one level to the next involves five phases: information. The phases. asserts van Hiele (1959/1984). It is possible however that certainmethods of teaching do not permitthe attainmentof the higher levels.investigatestheseproperties a new shape. then reflects on his/her actions and obtainsan overview of the newly formed network of relations now available (e. expressesideas aboutproperties figures). In stressing the importanceof language.g. This results in a "reduction" the subject matterto a lower of level.(p. folding.g.such as kites)... or students rather thancreatingit themselvesor at least supplyingreasonsin just copy a "proof" the proof (level 2). to visual geometric structures (levels 1-2). for Integration: The student summarizesall that he/she has learned about the subject.and types of instructional experiencescan affect progress(or lack of it). examinesexamplesandnon-examples).. by Progress from one level to the next.

These were obtainedfrom a varietyof sources as in includingpublishersin The Netherlands well as researchers the United States 1979. 1958. the Projectendeavoredto collect the majorwritingsof Dina van Hiele-Geldofand Pierrevan Hiele. Mayberry. the modules are discussed first (Chapter3) before examiningthe level descriptorsin detail (Chapter4). activities. 2. in particular. (f) one goes throughvarious "phases" proceedingfrom one level to the next.This listing is presentedin Chapter4 and includes specific examples of studentperformancefor each level descriptor.test items).M. 1983) who were also investigatingthe van (Cilley. (b) in analyzingvideo-tapedepisodes of studentsdoing the modules. 1981. there was a need to analyze several other van Hiele source documents. 1959/1984. Translation of Writings of the van Hieles At the outset. Four majornon-Englishwritings of the van Hieles were translated Englishby the Project. Development.(c) what is implicit at one level becomes explicit at the next level. into 1. Since examples are based mainly on the instructionalmodules. As a result of this analysis.O. These descriptors also be used to examinethe classroom languageof teachersand studentsduringinstructionand to characterize activitiesin geometry. with a few articlesin Frenchor Germanand two in English.H." (The Didacticsof Geometryin the LowestClassof Secondary School).8 of In summary. van Hiele. can exercises. the Project developed a more detailedlisting of level descriptors. Documentation and Use of Level Descriptors The Project's initialbrief descriptions the van Hiele levels were basedmainly of on three articles (van Hiele & van Hiele-Geldof. and networkof relations.the majorcharacteristics the van Hiele "levels"are that (a) the levels are sequential. the doctoral dissertation of Dina van Hiele-Geldof (translatedby the Project). (c) in analyzing the van Hiele level of textbook materials(exposition. set of symbols. 1976). The last articlewrittenby Dinavan Hiele-Geldof(1958/1984): "Dedidaktiek . (e) progress from one level to the next is more dependenton instructional and in experiencethanon age or maturation. Hiele model. The doctoraldissertation Dina van Hiele-Geldof(1957/1984) entitled"De by Didaktiek van de Meetkundein de Eerste Klas van het V. The Projectused its detailed characterization the levels in of termsof studentbehaviors: (a) in designingthe assessmentand instructional parts of the threemodules. Hoffer. Wirszup. (d) materialtaught to studentsabove their level is subject to reductionof level. (b) each level has its own language. 177 pages. Most of the writingswere in Dutch. In order to develop fuller characterizationsof the levels and examples of how they are applied.

Dina van Hiele-Geldof died shortly after completing her dissertation. Dina van Hiele-Geldofs dissertation describesa year-long "didacticexperiment" involving two classes of 12 year-olds which she taught. Begrip en Inzicht and (Understanding Insight).9 van de meetkundeals leerprocesvoor volwassenen"(Didactics of Geometry as a LearningProcessfor Adults). To what extent is language operativein the transitionfrom one level to the next? Almost half of the dissertationis a detailed and fascinating log of her teaching mI. An article by Pierre van Hiele (1959/1984): "La pensee de l'enfant et la geom6trie" (The Child'sThoughtand Geometry).one articleby her in 1958 and a joint journalarticle (in English) with Pierre (1958).the studyinvestigated I three mainquestions. Selected sections of the book by Pierrevan Hiele (1973).230 pages. As she statesin Chapter of the thesis.thought levels. These three chaptersand related ones (XI-XIV) which present analyses of the students'thinkingshould be of particular interestto researchersof the van Hiele levels. 14 pages. insight and structure. The last articlewrittenby Dina van Hiele-Geldof(1958/1984) gives further clarification and behaviorandwas recommended the to insightinto the levels as relatedto a student's Project staff by Pierre van Hiele as being an importantresource document to translateinto English. Do 12 year-oldsin the lowest class of the secondaryschool have the potential to reason logically about geometric problems and to what extent can this potentialbe developed? 3. The dissertation providesspecific examples of students' behaviors at the levels in response to many specific instructionaltasks. 1. An articlehe wrote in and Frenchin 1959. 3. Chapters IV andX of the thesis describein detailthe subjectmatter conversations" between teacher covered. Thus. all other writing describing the thought levels in geometryhas been done by Pierrevan Hiele. methods of presentation. Begrip en Inzicht(Understanding Insight). except for her dissertation. 4. "Lapensee de l'enfantet la geometrie"(The Child'sThoughtand . experiment.8 pages. Pierrevan Hiele wrotemanyarticlessettingforthhis ideas on learning. Is it possible to follow a didacticas a way of presentingmaterialso that the thinkingof the child is developedfrom the lowest level to higher levels in a continuous process? 2. The only informationon the levels which was previously availablein English was of a more generalnaturethan that found in this dissertation. A numberof these articles became the basis of his 1973 book.and "classroom and students for the didactic experiment.

to do the Project'stranslationwork from Dutch into English. Dr. above) in its entiretyas well as her last article(item 2. materials Pierrevan Hiele has also writtenandpublishedgeometrycurriculum basedon the levels for studentsin grades7-12 in The Netherlands. Tischler. a monograph entitled:English Translationof Selected Writingsof Dina van Hiele-Geldof and PierreM. Dr.the Projecthas published. Struktuur (1981).10 the Geometry).The Projectstaff has examinedthe geometryactivities in these text series. van Hiele. and the research community.which was not includedin Begrip en Inzicht. The first draftof the translation the doctoralthesis was sent to Pierrevan Hiele of for review."The monographis availablethrough Educational ResourcesInformation Center(ERIC. Pierre van Hiele's books. Verdonck translated Dina van Hiele-Geldofs doctoral dissertation (item 1. After conferringwith the Projectstaff. attracted attentionof Soviet psychologistsand educatorswho had long been studyinghow childrenlearn andwere particularly concernedaboutstudentdifficultywith geometry.a native of The Netherlandsliving in Brooklyn. The article by Pierrevan Hiele (1959/1984) in French (item 4. The monograph containsthe completeEnglishtranslations of items 1." Dr. and Structure and Insight (1986) provide furtherclarification of the thought levels and their applicationto other curriculumareas. above) had previously been translatedinto English in 1975 by Rosamond W. van Hiele indicated that he thought it was "a very fine translation. After editing these translations. The Project obtainedthe services of Dr. she provideda full English translation of those portions of the text considered importantto the Project'swork. .a memberof the Projectstaff. for the benefit of teachers.numberED 287 697). Also includedis an English summaryof Pierrevan Hiele's dissertation entitled:"TheProblemof Insightin Connectionwith School Children's Insightinto the SubjectMatterof Geometry. above) in its entiretyand preparedan English summary of each of the chapters. 2 and 4 above. above). MargrietVerdonck. Verdonck read Begrip en Inzicht (item 3. Aside from a few minor suggestionsfor word changes. curriculum developers. van a tot z (1976-1979).

This section describes the three modules developed by the Project for the clinical interviews. experiment" .. the content and approach (via tiling patterns. pentaAngle measurement.CHAPTER 3 INSTRUCTIONAL MODULES in The van Hiele model focuses on the role of instruction helpingstudentsmove from one thoughtlevel to the next. propertiesof quadrilaterals angle sums for triangles. etc. Second. triangles.Finally.e. First the major characteristics of the instructional modules are discussed and then the developmentof the modules is summarized. congruence. Module1: Module2: Basic geometric concepts (parallelism. gons. a variety of topics were chosen because of the need to assess level of thinking across different topics. 1.area of rectangles. First. Third. These topics were comparedwith those normally taught in grades 5-9. parallelograms.andrationale. levels 0. oppositeangles) Area measurement. angle. Module3: Several factors affected this choice of topics. and2.). topics had to be of such a naturethat they could be presentedat different van Hiele levels--in particular. family trees) in Module 2 were chosen because they embodiedthe instructional materials used by Dina van Hiele-Geldofin her "teaching research(1957/1984).yet the topics shouldnot be overly familiar in order to minimize the influence of prior learning on the new learningto take place in the interviews.topics shouldbe revelantto the school experiencesof both sixth andninthgraders. includinggoals. In addition. Major Characteristics of Modules Content The following geometrytopics are treated. specific activities. therefore. It was. saws/ladders.necessary for the Projectto modulesbased on the model and designedfor use develop andvalidateinstructional as a researchtool in a one-to-oneinstructional/testing setting. a detaileddescriptionof each moduleis given. and trapezoids figureswhose vertices lie on two parallellines. angle relationships in triangles and parallelograms (i. exteriorangle. as specified by the New York City Mathematics CurriculumGuide (1981). quadrilaterals.

A student's responsesto questions about a topic will indeed provide assessment informationabout what a knows aboutthattopic.parallelograms.g. assessmentmust also focus on progress(or lack of progress) thata studentmight make withina level. while following the student's Assessment of Thinking and Key Questions The primarypurpose of the modules was to provide a context for clinical interviews which could shed light on the student'slevel of thinking. However.To this end the threemodules level of thinkingabouta topic and "potential" were designedto assess both "entry" in level as reflectedby the student's performance a learningsituationon thattopic.in particular allowed interviewersto and specific instructional suggestions. trapezoids)and to tell what they were thinking aboutas they did this. In Module 2. with to at optionsfor branching instruction severalpoints.and learningdifficulties (e. What does the third angle equal? Why?" If the explanationwas based on "theangle sum is 180 degrees. trainof thought.12 Flexibility Since therewould be differencesin the geometryexperienceof sixth and ninth graders. In the 6-8 hours of interviews. such implementationof the modules depended upon the interviewer's familiaritywith the subjectmatterand spontaneityin questioningand instructing. Accordingto van Hiele. if the studenthas little or no experiencewith the topic being assessed. stronger studentsmight progress throughall three modules. or possibly to a higherlevel. two majorfactorsthat determinea student's level are abilityandpriorgeometryexperiences. althoughthe interviewermight ask follow-up questionsto clarifythe student's answers. Althoughthe scriptsguidedthe interviewer. which allow for responses at different levels. For example. squares. in Module 1 the studentswere askedto describea rectangleto a friendwho didn'tknow what it was or to sort a mixed-upset of cut-outquadrilaterals appropriate into boxes (e.. the studentswere asked: "Twoangles of this triangle each are 50 degrees. they key questions dependingon the student'sresponses.g. into Additionalprovisionfor contingencywas incorporated the interviewsthrough about the module scripts. poor geometry vocabulary.the modules were designed to be used flexibly in the interviews.this may not yield an accurate studentcurrently assessmentof the student's potentialto thinkat certainlevels."the studentwas asked: .g. In this case. The student's"entry" level of thinkingwas assessed mainlythroughanalysisof in his/herresponsesto key questions/activities Module 1 andat the startof Modules 2 and 3. as a resultof instruction. perceptual difficulties) that may adversely affect thinkingin geometry. Of rephrasewordingand to vary instruction course. inductiveand deductivereasoning). were presentedto the studentwithoutpromptsor hints. Othersrhightwork through Modules 1 and 2. These questions. cognitive processes (e.rectangles.dependingon the responsesof studentsto major assessmentquestions. or 1 and 3. requiringconsiderableinstructionalong the way...

Guided Orientation. For example. summarypoints. Then the student is guided to discover a procedure for finding the areas of parallelograms(Guided Orientation).. Next. the learningprocess involved in filling in a level or in moving from one level to the next consists of these five phases. at level 2 the or this by explaining/proving using alternateinterior/corresponding angles (saws and laddersin Module2). the related topic was exteriorangles of a triangle). in Module 2 on angle sums. phases within levels. This type of assessmentwas done in each module.most at importantly. Finally. accordingto van Hiele.13 "Doesthe angle sum of any triangleequal 180 degrees? Explain. the student summarizes this in a family tree (Integration). The modulesalso embodyanother aspect of the van Hiele theory--namely. The van Hieles appliedthe levels andphases to a teachingexperimentwithina classroom setting over an extended period of time (i. For example. Phases As stated above. As described previously in Chapter2. a variety of problems embodying the concept just learned are presentedto the student for exploration (Free Orientation). at level 1 by generalizing angle sum on the basis of experimentation. to the questionsnoted above for Module2.. Next. the modules were designed to involve studentsin geometry activities that would reveal their level of thinking. Questionsthroughout each module were correlated with level descriptors (see pages 58-71) to facilitate identification of level of thinkingwhen videotapedinterviewswere analyzed.Free Orientation. in particular using technical terminologysuch as base and height (Explicitation). Obviouslythe formatandtime constraints this study (6-8 hourswith of . with questioningduringinstruction. The Project neverthelesssoughtto incorporate phasesof the learningprocessinto the clinical the interviews. This teaching allows one to look at changesin a student's experimentapproach thinkingand. and at the end of each modulethrougha final activityinvolvinglevel 1 and 2 thinkingon a new but related topic (e.e. In this sense. one year). where after an initial assessment. difficultiesthatimpedeprogress.Since. the modules were designed to reflect this in approach. and Explicitation.g. The student'sability to thinkaboutspecific concepts in geometryand to make progresswithin levels was assessed in a more dynamicway--through responsesto new instructionand to relatedassessmenttasks and key questions." Studentscould respondto such questions at differentlevels. in an activity on area of parallelograms Module 3. studentsare asked to express the procedurein words. there are five phases: Information. the modules embodythe level aspectof the van Hiele model. the activity opens with informal work with area of parallelogramsto acquaint the student with this topic (Information). a studentcould respondat level 0 by measuringthe thirdangle. Integration. extensive instruction was at providedas needed.

and tiles for area. clear plastic devices to show saws/ladders.cutoutpieces to lead to discovery of area rules. Using these two modes enabledthe researchers determineif certain subjectswere more successfulin one mode thananother. innercity adolescents).. tiles and tiling design sheets for coloring.perhapssayingboth non-standard standard terms. pictures of cityscapes and other scenes embodying geometry concepts.and graduallyshifting to only standard ones. tangram puzzles.involvingthe manipulation of materials(e.clearplastic or squareinch grids. areaof covers of jewelryboxes anda map of lots in downtownBrooklyn. coloring). Initial activities gave the interviewerinformation aboutthe subject'slanguage related to that topic. stripsof squareinches. tiling patternsand floor designs. moving objects. explicitationphase or for extendedfree orientation Informal Introductory Activities The modules were designedto reflectthe spiritof van Hiele levels andphases.g. more "static. and the second.g. in Module 2. reflecting the static mode. These informalactivities were presentedas contextfor beginningthe topic. "straight" right for the intervieweracceptedthis responsewithoutinitial correction... and encouragedthe subject to adopt and use standard and terms. selection sheets. Hands-on Approach Activitieswere in two modes--thefirst.D-stix for makingangles or figures andfor showingparallelism. games and were meantto providea non-threatening This type of beginning activity was intendedto be appealing and relevantto the subjects(in this case. Special materials were designed for the manipulativemode: cutout cardboard shapesfor sorting. in Module 3.g. by gesturing with D-stix aboutparallellines andthenaddingverbalresponses).introduced angle). Morespecifically. provided students Project-developed with opportunitiesfor identifying examples and non-examples of concepts and to properties.each moduleopenedwith activitiesfeaturingvisual global structures--inModule 1. dynamic.14 each subject) did not allow for students exchanging newly formed ideas in the tasks. devices to show angles andto test for congruence to measureangles.and whetherthey had any preferencefor a mode or used both simultaneously. Also use of materialscould help less verbal studentsto express their ideas about geometry (e. . alternativestandardterms. propertycards and arrowsto set up in family trees. Beginning activities in each module were designed as ice-breakers or change-of-pacefrom previous work." (as relyingprimarilyon verbalor pictorialinformation is done in most textbooks). If non-standard terms were used (e. folding.

During the second phase.some minorrevisionof the scriptwas made and key questions were starred in the script.interviewers were instructed be less directive to and to allow students more time to think and respond. This providedvaluablefeedback about the clarity of the script and appropriatenessof manipulatives from the of standpoint a new interviewer. 1980 these revised modules were tried out by an interviewer (a secondaryschool teacher)trainedby Projectstaff. Also.Canada). Van . strips of square inches to help studentsdiscoverareaof rectanglesas repeatedaddition. 1982. As a result.in the of particular.mainly with suggestionsaboutcontingenciesfor assessmentand instruction. manipulatives were packagedfor easieruse and storage. especially when guiding studentsto make discoveries.L-Squareto assist studentsin findingheightsof figures).g. and Module 3 (Midline Area Rule). The only negative criticisms involved some of the instructiongiven by the interviewers--namely.15 Development and Validation of the Modules The modules were developed. Copies of the script and videotapes of clinical interviews were sent to three mathematics educatorswho were well acquainted with the van Hiele model through their own research (William Burger at Oregon State University. Statementsof specific goals for each activityin a modulewere clarified. A subsequent validationwas doneby Pierrevan Hiele himself. Pilottestingindicated this was not feasiblebecause that of limited interviewtime. They affirmed that responses to key questions were providing information about levels. appropriateness key questionsfor assessingthe levels of thinking. As a result. materialsfor each module were and organizedinto a kit formatthatwas easy to transport to use duringinterviews. and John Del Grandeat Board of Education. Some special manipulatives were designed and added to the modules (e.. The final phase (summer. and validatedin threephases priorto their use in the clinical interviews. Module2 (ExteriorAngle of a of Triangle). when he conferredwith Project staff for two days in April. Contentof this module extended ideas treatedin Modules 1-3. 1980) involved the development of initial versions of the modules. Ontario.1981) dealtmainlywith validationof the modules. The first phase (summerand early fall. The scriptwas expanded. The second phase of the developmentof the modules occurredin spring. This module was to be done by studentswho had completedall threemoduleswith evidenceof level 2 thinking.differentpartsof this module were included as final activitiesin Modules 1 (Properties Kites). some minor changes in the scripts were made.the modules were revised. Their evaluationsindicatedthat the modules were on target. Also. Alan Hoffer at University of Oregon. triedout. interviewerin some instances the was leading too much. After being pilot-tested with 3-4 students.Borough of North York. 1981 and focused on the preparation tryoutof a fourthmodule thatmainly assessed and level 2 thinking. In fall. saws/ladders on transparent plastic to help studentsidentify saws/laddersin grids. As a result.

in particular less capablestudents. they actually provided furtherdevelopment or refinement of the module in the interviewsetting. interviewersoften made to some adaptations the activitiesand script. . It should be noted that. as interviewersgained experiencewith the modules.16 Hiele reviewedthe modulescriptsandkey questionsandviewed videotaped episodes of several studentsrespondingto key questions. the modules were consideredreadyfor use in the clinical partof the Project. Thus. In fact. they should not be thoughtof as in final ideal form. and that the interviewsyielded information his of the subjects. for For example. thereby supporting the clinicalinterviewsfor assessinglevel of thinking. usefulnessof the module-based After the final phase of development and validation. Furthermore. it was sometimesnecessaryto add extra examples to help a student discovera pattern.to provideextrareview (especiallywhen therewas considerable time between interview session). or to have studentssummarizemore frequently what they had leared. evaluationof the level of thinking of thinking these students agreed with those of the Project staff. althoughthe modules went throughconsiderabledevelopmentand revisions. It was his view that the modules aboutthe level of embodiedthe levels.

in The moduleis summarized this diagram. The role of properties in students' conceptionsof shapesis explored. . studentsare invited to talk about geometricalaspects of some pictures.8 MinimalProperties 'V 4 InclusionRelations I Kites: Sorting.7 GuessingShapesfrom PartialView/Properties 3.5 Sorting Parallelism by 3.3 of Properties Classes of Quadrilaterals I 3.6-3. A final classificationactivity is presentedto studentsat a later session.andto determine their properties. After an ice-breakingintroductory game. It serves to assess students'backgroundin topics to be treatedin the latermodules.includingthe recognitionof minimal properties. Then a sorting activity leads to explicit considerationof propertiesand inclusion relations.Properties. 3.to check on retention transfer thinkingprocesses. to provide levels of thinkingaboutshapesand students' as instruction needed. of and afterthe end of the module.4 Relations t Inclusion 'I > 3.17 Module 1 Overview This module concerns classification of two-dimensionalshapes.

for example: of theirinclinationto initiateor to copy ideas. l---i ~ A Axn~ ~ ~ O \\ __/ o-<> Azsz note: This activityrevealssome interesting characteristics students. studentsare given as much opportunityas theirown geometricvocabularyspontaneously.18 Activity 1. . Shapes in Pictures This activityassesses students' with some basic geometricconcepts.or to gestureand handlematerialsor to look only. For the first of pair. and parallel.rightangles sides parallel sidesandangles opposite sidesandangles congruent conceptsof components of shapes: Moredetailedassessmentis madefor rectangle. possible to introduce Activity 2. familiarity namely: conceptsof shapes: triangle square rectangle parallelogram angles. same (fitting length). comers. The interviewer introduces formalvocabulary.the interviewer says somethingthatis the same about them and the student says thatis different.insteadusing gestures no an angle on top of another)or commoninformalterms(sides. This is repeatedfor six ~pairs.*/_\ 1---1_ isomething ^aPairs shapes are presented. In this and the next activity. the roles are reversed. A_.rightangle. and to assess informally the and mathematical used language(standard non-standard) by the student. Introductory Activity This ice-breaking "game"has two goals: to create a relaxed atmospherein which student and interviewer can communicate. For the next pair.

. I - WIALc oi tHse A?< Ctt*^-5s ^" t> /-\G- note: While interviewers should not prolong a "guessing game" when correct that responsesare unlikely. as . and any responserelatedto one of these is pursued in this way.) For any of these concepts which are not mentioned. and to decide on some examples and nonexamples selectedby the interviewer. Students are asked to construct exampleswith D-stix. right angle and parallelism." Three concepts are explored in greaterdepth as they arise.a 19 Firstthe studentis shown photographsof city environments(San Francisco skyline.until the student seems comfortable with the standardterm. (All other responses are simply praised.) The . and presentedin the word-and-picture thenproceedswith instruction needed. and then to describethe idea to someone who didn'tknow what it was "overthe phone." Selection sheets allow for detailedassessmentof students'graspof these concepts.the intervieweruses it together with the standardterm thereafter. Studentsare asked "whichof these are _ 's" and "why?" In the course of the session the interviewer keeps track of the student's understanding of the concepts cards. they are shown "word-and-picture cards. The concepts listed above are required for laterwork.TRlA<G(B n 1 11 ~v~ A au cn F . If a non-standard termis produced. rectangle. buildings) and is asked to find "geometricideas"in them. For shapes identified. studentsare shown examples and are asked if and they recognizethe configuration can name it--if not. Only three concepts are pursued in depth because it was found to be timeconsuming and a bit boring for the students to discuss more at this point. it is neverthelessimportant the studentsbe given every opportunityto produce their own non-standard vocabularybefore standardterms are introduced. (In Activity 3. understandingof other concepts is assessed more carefully.they are asked to find other examples in the picture.

pafrelvl Then students return to the task of identifying PARALLEL L. between streets and whether or not streets meet.rectangle." "parallel parking") and the idea is on the word-and-picturecard.20 in questioningaboutrectangles.It was felt thatstudentswho do not have some except with these threeconcepts were far below expectationsat this level 0 acquaintance level. studentsare shown a shape and asked what they notice about the shape. the instructional branch for parallelism begins with consideration of streetson a local streetmap.and shown with sticks--students then construct parallels with sticks.descriptionsin termsof of "lookinglike")or at level 1 (invokingproperties a class of figures). Thusany such studentsshouldbe dropped Materialsfor instructionon differentconcepts follow a similarpattern. and would not be able to do enough of the module to make them suitable fromthe study.rightanglesandparallelism this activitydoes allow for responsesat eitherlevel 0 (looking at individualshapes.L tA.. and test their understandingby doing a selection sheet-identifyingexamples and non-examplesand explainingwhy. A*9 I -"~ . Subjectsthen constructtheirown examples and non-examples. The term parallel is introduced. Instructional Branches The module includesinstructional materialfor all of the concepts listed above for square.NE ^~ <--^+ f ^--?"} ~ _ ?W'^icaof t?s oy?t ~ ? $\ -C| D .^ <c^.PH^QcL For example.= ~ .g. including in this case selectionsheetsandverbaldescription. then allow for examples to be pointedout. Finally.triangle.9AALf. X -. opposite angles of a are parallelogram congruent). xI / ^1 I ~ ' Xi lM> ^wM / . The term is related to P^>^vis . allowing them to formulatea propertyusing the concept just discussed (e.. subjects. They begin with referenceto the real world situationsin which the concept arises. and proceed with the rest of the activity. ^ __ ll ! pictures of other common uses ("parallel bars. Sticks arelaid on streets while students discuss the distances .. ^summarized parallels in the photos.

2 studentsare showna collection 0____ CD [ -D~ 4<j Do -.21 Activity 3. squares) in terms of properties rather than merely by a shape's below. In Activity3. The open sortprovedto be too time-consuming.and they are then asked to try it anotherway."while level 1 thinkerstry to find a commoncharacteristic such as the numberof sides. of cardboard The interviewer says "These shapes came from several differentboxes but they got all mixed up. and says "Can guess wherethis will go? Why? you And this? Why? Can you arrangethe rest of the pieces using this idea?" Finally students are asked to describethe way the pieces were sorted. parallelois gram. In Activity3.Zj /^^_^N "How could we place these into groups of things thatbelong together?"They are asked ftoexplain theirthinkingas they sort. Sorting and Properties of Groups This activity is designedto assess a student'sability to thinkabout shapes (for example. 4 4 C a l in note: The firstsortingactivityis presented this "GuessMy Rule"formatbecause it was found that when the challenge to arrangethe pieces was presentedin a less structured manner.1-3. rectangle.2 Sorting. Again students are asked it .quadrilateral expected. of quadrilaterals.studentsoften triedto put pieces togetherin a puzzle formatand it was awkwardto establishwhatwas meantby sorting. althoughmany interesting Studentsthinkingat level 0 tend to explainplacementof pieces by phrasessuch as "theylook alike." The interviewer thenplaces a couple of pieces on each mat. trapezoid. If the standardsort is not produced. ideas arose. a "Guess My Rule"formatis followed. Eventually a sort by square.1 studentsare shown a collection cut-outpolygons and some mats.Activity 3 has severalpartswhich are describedseparately 3. If studentssort in some otherway. This is how someone tried to put them back in groups which belong together. and if they know names for triangle and quadrilateral piles. theirthinking is discussed and their work praised. appearance. or by thinkingaboutproperties. sortingby numberof sides. These activities assess whethera studentsorts on a "looks like"basis.

sticks areplacedon shapes to remind of parallelism. and inclusion relations are discussedlaterin termsof movingpieces frommat to mat.) As students mention a name or a property."). Prompts are given as needed. through to instruct studentin this area. and a set of color-coded property cards. Then studentsare asked to look at selection sheets for each shape. and so disjoint mats are used. .e 4 1 [Ther s. The next activity serves to assess a student's the abilityto characterize groupsof shapesin termsof properties.| The interviewer points to the group of squaresand says "Ifyou were talkingwith your friend over the phone and you wantedto describethesepieces. all cardsconcerningparallelismof opposite sides are orange.Av5tes .the interviewer places the correspondingcard on the group. while students invoke properties("I'mputtingall the ones thinkingat level 1 might spontaneously with four right angles here. 3. This continues until all properties are listed.T A1t .3 Listing Properties. on which they identifyexamples and non-examples.and also. |Thcre aoe 4 sides. for example "Is there anything you can say about the sides here? the angles?" If necessary. Studentsthinkingat level 0 may place pieces together in roughly similar pairs. (For example. and to explaintheirthinking. angles.| a^W31es. 0C DD SQUARE RECTANGLe o. Studentsareencouragedto say as much as they can aboutthe squares. ] Offosite si4es I r oI cosirvt . making judgements by eye. The module might have been designed so that studentswould sort pieces into loops (Venn diagrams) but it was decided that it would take too much time to develop this language.thento go on to other shapes. This activity provides a richercontext for sorting than the previous one. i side I [ Allsides Ir*t o.22 note: Again level of thinkingis assessed by the extent to which studentsdescribe placementof pieces in terms of properties. the guidedquestioning. whatcould you say about them?"For each group of PARALLE shapes there is a name card.

that is.?jit.<| 1 t*.but from an incorrectdefinitionof a rectangle. since judgmentsabout shapes are made on the basis of "looking such as "fourrightangles". and five-sided ones.the interviewerpicks up a square.(.. L RECTANGLE PtaALI IPtv Lt. J " *-Aq [N"6 %a. they include incorrectpropertiesin theirdescriptions(e.given the relatively short amount of time available for instruction duringthe interviews. i. When possible. were given to show studentsthattwo differentlengths explanationsand illustrations for the sides was not a necessary condition for rectangles.4I.1 . also that the word was derived from "rightangle"--hencethe rectangleonly had to have "rectangle" right angles. or if they can duplicatethe processesinvolved. D a ULRE IF•l ad. Some students listed many propertiesspontaneouslyand systematically. these misunderstandingswere corrected--thatis.4 Subclass Relations. This activity assesses if a studentcan identify and explain subclassrelations--for example.23 note: Many studentshave learnednon-standard definitions. What makes it special?" The interviewer then asks: "Can we move this square to the rectangle group? Why? (or Why not?)" note: Level 0 thinkerstend to find it difficultto acceptplacementof squaresin the rectangle group. saying "So I could move this squareto the quadrilateral or four-sidedgroup--asquareis a special kind of quadrilateral. s. These explanationswere not readily accepted by some students (in and were light of theirpriorschool instruction) so some of these misunderstandings not corrected.and transferredproperties given for one shape to another. The responsesof such studentswere noted and subsequent reasoning(basedon theirmisconceptionof a rectangle)was evaluatedaccordingly. A laterassessmentactivity(4) is designedto see if studentshave merely followed along in this activity.. and six-sided ones? Where wouldall these shapeson the tablehave gone?" When studentshave respondedcorrectly..^ u- lf The interviewer says "Whenyou sorted the first set of shapes. "Oneside is longer than another" for a rectangle). Howeversome level like".all rectanglesare parallelograms. Ptre4<r| rJ ne. 3.t Mt? s5as .g.not on the basis of a property 1 thinkersalso will not accept this placementof a square--theymay be reasoning correctly. do you rememberthat you had a group of triangles. . Other students gave few propertiesspontaneously.l|ICH i JC*r. For these students the instructor's guidance may have servedto fill in level 1 experiences..j]t . The following questionis askedin orderto distinguish betweenthese two situations: .e |C^?? 4 4 sJsl . and one of quadrilaterals or four-sided figures.$ I [Tni .

5 Parallelogram Sort. 3. even if their own definitions of the shapes dictate of non-intersection the sets. A studentwho still has difficultyhere will do the next activity(3.24 Someone yesterday said that a square is a special kind of a rectangle. Othersgive a more formal explanation. "squaresare parallelograms indicatingthatthe studentis thinkingof squaresand oppositeangles are congruent.) note: Some studentsanswerthese questionsby visually checking the properties listed on each mat one by one. (Thepropertycardsand sortedpieces arethen put away. This activity is designed for those studentswhose incorrect definitions of shapes prevent them from giving or following inclusion arguments." rectanglesin terms of properties. For studentswho do acceptplacementof a squarewith the rectangles. the interviewcontinuesas follows: "Wouldit be possible to call EVERYsquarea rectangle? Could I move this rectangleto the squaregroup? Why (or Why not?) Would it be possible to call every rectanglea square? Why?" This is repeatedfor squareand parallelogram. This sorting activity helps them to develop the concept of parallelogram. Of course the presence of the propertycards on the mats here does encouragestudentsto respondin terms of properties. A square is a rectanglewith equal sides.5).without looking at the propertycards or the particularshape being considered.saying for because the opposite sides are parallel and example. 0 0 C . Do you think she could be right? What do you think she said when she put a square in the parallelogram pile? Couldthatbe right? Mightshe have put a rectangle in the parallelogrampile? What wouldshe have said?" 67 LD This type of questioning can determine if students can accept the logic of the inclusion relation.namelykites. A later activity (4) checks to see if a studentthinksin termsof propertieswhen describing othersets of figures.

. the interviewerprovides another "GuessMy Rule"challenge. or saying "I was thinkingaboutparallelsides")to help students verbalizethe descriptionof the piles in terms of number of pairs of parallel sides.t Omt ts lo6g5r s. asking at each stage "Whatcould this be? Could it be anything else? Why? Whatcouldn't be? Why?"The it process is repeatedfor a second shape if the student seemed to be confused about the directionsthe first time." they are asked again about the inclusion relationsbetween squareand parallelogram. PC.te siAds oa. rc. v' vt oLg5e. 3. At the end the student is asked "Canyou think of other clues I couldput down? Are you sure?Why?" This processis repeatedfor two sets of clues. Hints are provided if necessary (placing sticks on shapes. only now you won'tsee any of the shape.7 The interviewer says "Let's try that guessing game again. What COULD it be? Could it be anythingelse? WhatCOULDN'Tit be?" The interviewerslides a piece of paper down the sheet to uncoverclues one by one.tC V . Finally. two pairs of parallel sides. + s.4 (but without squares and rectangles).LZL Opt.dles.lrots. aoct W o.6-3.tes iat Kn7 e?us ThKsQ.25 Using the same shapes as were used in activities 3.They assess how the student abouta figure (a partialview or a few properties)to make uses partialinformation judgmentsaboutwhatthe figurecould or could not be. Students are asked to explain their decisions on where the remaining pieces should go. one pair of parallelsides. vot A is leIkat on*e o^t( a. oVotltr tI*A Tke . 3. studentsare led to see that anothername for the pile with two and pairsof parallelsides is "parallelograms.e elvl.6 The interviewer uncovers a cardboard cut-out in four stages. These activities are similar in format.2-3. I'll show you the clues one by one--after each tell me all you can.41.insteadI'lljust give you some clues about it.o't s. but one is presentedvisually andthe othermoreabstractly. You will try to figure out what shape I'm thinkingof. . o? .7 Uncovering Shapes. A few pieces are placed in each of threepiles: no parallelsides. Then students are asked where the squares and rectangleswill go.st 'Ot r Q 9 & 0*4 c.dt sid.I to its o At ltsCt ote side is oskitt Opfoi. \ ^Q 0 C1a 3.

(Vt cDCow5044i. Some students are consistent in their answers. ''t nt gt's. within the context of their knowledge.ve. it could not be one after more properties are revealed. then one which is not necessary (if any remain) and asks for each "Could I take this away? Why?" If the explanation is incomplete. "Three people were arguing about their descriptions of a parallelogram. realizing that if the shape could not be a rectangle after two properties. They are encouraged to use a drawing or D-stix to check their thinking. This activity assesses if a student can deduce 3.6. the interviewer takes away first a card which is necessary.tA iet ottos?. s. In 3. g\. the interviewer asks. operating perceptually.*Atles.S ) TvoLgtts skft sIr 1 . Suppose that you wanted to make up some clues for a square for your friend. O YftOCt si4d cf I6?Ak ( C sys T' I. "Canyou show me why in a drawing?" "Now suppose that you wanted to give your friend clues for a parallelogram.6) to set the stage for the property-oriented presentation (3. AlU sides fll + oti .7).") indicating level 1 thought.te -?ies coo^at. The activity asked a student to select the fewest properties necessary to describe a shape.8 Minimum Properties. Who was correct? Why?" TkhIt O. f. Others seem to answer with each new clue as if previous answers were unrelated.des. while others verbalize properties in their answers ("It couldn't be a square because it doesn't have a right angle there. "Here are a lot of properties of a square that you have talked about. some property from another. Do you think that your friend would need to see ALL of these properties to know that you were thinking of a square? Which cards could you take away? Why? Any others?" When the student has finished.YL\N? t p&ToA^ioft0^ iSs & f(f-jr-SiJl R. some trace possible outlines with their fingers. cogvtvvr t. These are the only clues that they gave--they were all talking about four-sided figures. What is the smallest number of clues you could give her so that she would know you were thinking of a parallelogram? Why?" The interviewer then shows the sheet at left. OIP0S' tt Side S po. Students vary in the type of reasoning demonstrated.c Tkeve o. sYt re ltel CotS ^n 40F or .26 note: This activity is presented in a visual form first (3. at level 0. Students are shown a collection of "clue cards" for a square.Lts Yv arkte! OfooS.

Level 2 thinkerswould properties" either reason("You don'tneed 'oppositeangles are equal'because 'all four angles are rightangles'and so they are equal. The intention here is not to instructin propertiesof kites.) Students are asked to place the shapes on the thirdcard on the first two cards. Only small hints are given." and "Whichof these are kites?" (The only square included is on the third card.cre tot kites. done in a session following the earlier parts of the module. student'sability to search for counter-examplesthroughdrawingor construction.27 note: It was not expectedthatstudentsin this studywould be able to give complete argumentsabout why some propertiesimplied others.chi of +tCsC aret kit s ? ` I3 This activityrevealswhethera studentspontaneously formulates for properties a set of figures (indicatinglevel 1 thought)or tends to rely on a "lookinglike" approach (indicatinglevel 0 thought). and why a square cut-out does. The final partof the activity formalizesthe inclusion relations. Level 1 thinkersmight respondby saying that "yes. but to observe the student'smethodof approach. a parallelogram all those has withoutseeing duplicationor logical relations. Students are shown a collection of cut-out shapes arrangedon three cards: "Theseare kites. However this activity does allow one to assess the student's and the recognitionof the need for such arguments. i.")or try to test a hypothesis("if the opposite sides areparallel. assesses a student's ability to analyze a new set of figures (kites) in terms of properties. If necessary. and to explain their thinking.placementis correctedso that all kites are on the first card. "Whatpropertiesdoes a kite have?" TI 5?C o. Finally the interviewer asks "How would you describea kite?"and if properties not are yet mentioned.thenthe oppositesides will alwaysbe equal"). . Students are then asked why a rectangular cut-out does not go in the kite pile.and to recognize inclusion relationshipsinvolving kites." "Theseare not kites. Activity 4. Kites This activity. and studentsare not pressed if they don't respondeasily.

"Canyou put arrows down between these cards to show some relationships?" If students don't themselves mentionthe relationship. QUADRILATERAL. They are then shown name cardsfor SQUARE. Some students provide fluent explanations of placement of the arrows in terms of sufficientproperties. "To show this we sometimes put an arrow like this between the and quadrilateral rectangle card.and KITE. and about which placement of the arrow is correct. ." Students are asked if every rectangleis a quadrilateral. they are asked "Can a square be a kite? Is every square a kite? Why? (or Why not?)" 1 . and reason on the basis of a squarecut-outbeing includedin the kite pile.while othersare not even quite sure about what directionthe arrowshould go. it assesses whetherit is naturalfor a studentto thinkof inclusionin termsof properties. cc IQUADRILATERPALI note: Since this activity is done withoutpropertycardsbeing in sight. You could thinkof it as a one-way streetsign.indicatinglevel 1 or possibly level 2 thought.28 Studentsare remindedof earlierdiscussionof how a rectangle is a special kind of quadrilateral. is and if every quadrilateral a rectangle. and some more arrows.

and also discover new patternsand properties. congruentangles. studentsare asked to first discover the relationshipbetween an it exteriorangle and the sum of the two opposite interiorones.29 Module 2 Overview in and This module concernsangle measurement angle relationships polygons. In the context of these grids they review various geometric concepts which arose in Module 1 (parallel lines. Once this result is established. in of as reported her thesis.). This techniqueis then applied to a triangle gridto show thatthe sum of the angles of a triangleis 180 degrees. and then to "prove" in informally. 1 Angle Measurement| >1Instructional Branch 2 MakingTilings andGrids Saws andLadders 13 4 \ Z ColoringAngles Developing Propertiesfrom Grids Family Trees ExteriorAngle of a Triangle |5 r6 j7 ."Propertiesof saws and laddersare used to justify congruenceof angles. saw and ladderproperties)and to arrangethese facts in a "familytree. The sequenceof activitiesis in partmodelledon the workof Dina van Hiele-Geldof. The moduleis summarized this diagram.using saws and ladders. non-right triangles). Subjectsare led to imagineand/or construct tiling patterns from several polygons (squares.in particular"saws"and "ladders. shape identification. parallelograms.etc. right triangles.studentsare encouragedto relateit to otherfacts (angle sum of other polygons. An initialactivityassesses students' understanding angle measureand the sum of the angles of a triangle. rectangles." In the last activity.

30 Activity 1.they are led to see thatopennessof an angle stays the same when lengthof sides is changed.) Once students are able to measure angles in some way. they go to activities in the Instructional Branch(describedon the next page).This leads to discussionof the measureof a straightangle. after making some measurements. . First stuto dents are asked what they would choose to measure with. and studentsare asked "Whichis more open? Which is larger?"By if superposition. they are shown the diagramof two adjacentangles to the left. then to predict the "outside" (the sum).(If studentshave never used a protractor or say they are uncomfortableusing one. check the measureswith a protractor. 0> to. 1-~ \AAkiW 9kcce fiti? Mb. and then one side is removed to show a flexible model for angle. They are also shown a telescoping "angle maker" (the arms can slide out). if the responseso far is to satisfactory. recognitionof how angle measuresof adjacentangles can be added. If of studentsexperiencedifficulty with angle measurement. Students are asked to estimate three angle measurements in degrees. They are asked to measure the two angles. Angle Measurement This activity is intended to assess both understandingof and skill in angle measurement. as described underthe Instructional Branch. Studentsare shown a trianglemade of D-stix. and understanding the fact that the angle sum of a triangle is 180 degrees. a diagram with color tracingis available.) Studentsare then shown the diagram to the left with three adjacent angles. as shown. They are asked to predict angle measurements. They arealso asked to recognizeand constructrightangles. then if and how they have learnedto measureangles in school.and. They are then presented with a puzzle involving matching an angle by eye. necessary. These materialsare used to make two angles. acetate angle measureoverlays. (In case perception one of the angles is a problem. which motivates more exact measurement check.are provided.

31 Finally.nothingmore is said aboutangle sum of a triangle at this point. then the discussed. they might enter the instructionalsequence at any point. Students can check indirectly by moving an angle maker. It was found that the protractor a measuringdevice caused many problemsfor students. discovering that a right angle measuressix wedges. but this time both angles are made on clock faces (unmarked)and so checking cannot be done by direct superposition. and that a smaller unit might be useful." finally use of a measuringdevice.and as there was not time in this module to remedy them. Studentsare shown an angle and are invitedto make a congruentone with an angle maker. The instruction follows a developmentalsequence for measurement: first comparisonof angles is units (15 degree wedges). They are then challenged to do the same activity. if they can explain why it is true. and students are asked if they can predictthe measureof the unmarkedone. and if they learned aboutangle sum of any otherpolygons. but realize that this is inaccurate. angle overlays. Studentsareasked about when they learned this. If they cannot. It becomes apparent that measuring angles this way is quite imprecise. Students examine one wedge that is . then measuringwith non-standard and meaning of the unit "degree. they are asked to explain their reasoning which probablyinvolves learningaboutangle sum of a trianglein school. Studentspracticeestimating and measuringwith the wedges. Instructional Branch Since students enter this module with a wide range of understandingabout angles. which suffices for the measuringrequiredin later partsof the module. and a straight angle twelve. Thus it was decided to use a simpler device.studentsare shown a triangle. If they can. They can check by superposition. Then a triangleis shownwith only two measurements marked.and that a more reliable way to measure is by placement of wedges as shown.and are asked to measure angles in it (which are simply recordedfor later reference).

and is asked "What you see in it?" can thenasks studentsif they have The interviewer seen any other types of tiling patterns. Activity 2.'[__ i marked off in 15 congruent wedges (each measuring one degree). "Couldyou draw how they would fit together?" Studentsare led to see how to make a quick drawingusing two familiesof parallellines. ~___0 X\$ with this process. Making Tilings and Grids This activityestablishesa "globalvisual structure" the van Hieles' terms)in (in which angle relationships trianglescan be examined. "Whatother shapecould you use if you wantedto use only one shape? Could you use rectangles?"(the latterquestionbeing asked only if the student does not suggest it). then to draw the tiling patternsand note families of parallellines. and are told that angles are in fact usually measured in these units. one all acute or rightangles and the otherall obtuseor rightangles. / fv 7is 7/ -. In subsequent work.. Studentsare encouragedto of and manipulatetiles if necessaryto establishthis structure.32 I. The activityalso providesa contextfor reviewingconceptslearnedin earlieractivities. L. studentsare led to compareangles with a rightangle whenmeasuring(although terminology the acuteandobtuseis not introduced unless the studentbringsit up). They use the fact that there are 15 Once they are comfortable ~degrees ' in an orange wedge to measure various angles. Studentsare asked "Canyou close your eyes and visualize a floor covered with square tiles? Could you sketch what it would look like?" (Tiles are available in case a student needs them.) The student is then shown a precisely drawn square grid. or a protractor (the last only if it was previouslyaskedfor andused successfully).~ ~.acetateoverlayswith angles (multiplesof 15 degrees) are presentedas an easierway to measurethanwith the wedges. wedges.s" . and shows some pictures of sample floor tilings which use more than one shape.studentsare given a choice of whatto measure with--the overlays.. note: Since the overlays come in two sheets.. I II .

Can you describe your method?" When the tiling is complete. Some seem to "see"the overall scheme at first. studentsare shown a rectanglegrid.the interviewer can begin a patternto be completed. note: Studentsapproachthese tiling tasks in many differentways.studentsare asked what kinds of shapes can be used to tile. andvariousshapes. and the process just described is repeated. andaskedto use themto make a tiling. they are not rushedtowardscreating the standard grids. In summary. "Hereis a precise picture of the rectangle tiling you made. but as long as studentsremaininterestedin the construction. If students are becoming frustrated. Once the trianglegrid is established from the parallelogram one. preferring to place triangles one by one.33 Students are then given parallelogramtiles. "Haveyou ever seen trianglesused as tiles? Try these ones. do not. and what kinds of lines arisein the tilings. Finally students are given non-righttriangle tiles. congruent angles. Again they are led to first constructand then drawa tiling which contains two families of parallel lines. and workmethodicallyby rows. while othersuse a trial and errormethod for each piece. / . but having just two at first helps them see the relation to a rectangle). Some see the relationshipbetween triangle and rectangle/parallelogram while others grids easily and use it in the construction. students are shown a complete trianglegrid and are asked to identify parallel lines. Next students are given two right triangles (more are available. How couldyou put these sticksdownto make it into a triangulartiling? Is that the same pattern you made with the pieces?" Studentsare led to see how a quick drawing could be made using the three families of parallellines.

They are then ^ 2^^^ [it __ '. and are asked to identify shapes and lines in it. somemoreacetate some "saw-like" pictures.." and finally of askingfor a description a saw. (g____ B K c _~ I~ _P o X . a T oce* .. instructor then demonstrates one stick can be placed on the "side. . ~not a ladder.^ ^. you've seen? Why not? Actually this one is L.then examples. ..? card"is availablewhich shows more \^^ ^^"creature examples and non-examples. SW-. I' fthe grid. anda figurewhich is not a saw. F). note: This activity allows studentsinitially to develop the concept of ladderand saw at level 0.Mi. Finally studentsareaskedto describea ladder..34 Activity 3. and to formulatepropertiesof saws and ladderswithoutinstruction.t G' student to decide on some others.-^" ' T'< '" "-~ft?^ CL w k. ~ ._ Y ~objects Two more ladders The g drawnon acetatearepresented D (diagrams how on a ladder. (Studentsare asked to demonQ(diagram strate this on another ladder. Saws and Ladders In this activity a triangle grid is used to identify "saws"and "ladders.~~s \\A Students look at a right triangle grid (see diagram A to the left)."The activity assesses a student's ability to see shapes embedded in a grid.Vt. ^ '~ . and asks the wo... andthe description these concepts.d?. and asked if they can find it in (diagram C).^. Do you see why?" If students have difficulty forming this concept.6. They are asked what it looks like.s ? i c. showing the "creature card.k .______ sheetwitha ladder on drawn givenan acetate (diagramB).. on a basis of "looks like one". However questioning about why of figuresare and arenot laddersor saws..u. f^ fi t4 ///Lu t2 v 1 ^ ~ _.. .: This sequence is repeatedfor saws: showing an example on acetate to locate in the grid. to be identified in the grid.) Students are shown a pictureof a non-ladder(diagramG): "Do you think this looks like the ladders T..allows one to assess the student'stendencyto think spontaneouslyin terms of properties. and are shown pictures of "ladder-like" and E).." and anotherstick slid down it to make the "rungs" 6 . The activity also determines how readily students use standard vocabulary in introduced Module 1.

which is summarized a file cardfor lateruse.j^i^^ ~ ~ : t ~? 1 LADDER Studentsare given coloredmarkingpens anda sheet with a triangle grid on which parts of several saws and laddershave been marked. What else can you say about a ladder?" If students do not respondspontaneously. SAW r aVL^I• a. and are asked "Whatdo you notice about the angles?" Students are led to summarizethe fact that ladders have two sets of congruent on angles. identifying them as saws or ladders. Fi. and then discuss parallelism (two families of parallel lines).35 Activity 4. Finally.) They then color in congruentangles on each of the otherladders.y ' '. (A cardboard cut-outtriangleis available to check congruence. The next partof this activity is designedto see if studentscan relatethese formulateor duplicate"if-then" properties.they are led to summarize the parallelism property of ladders.^~ . Spontaneousformationof the two propertiesof saw and ladder indicates level 1 thought. They are asked to extend these.^_ .c. A^.tishStW. note: Studentswho are thinkingat level 0 can follow throughmost of this activity by looking at specific examples. Studentscolor in angles on the saws in the grid. but may not be able to summarize fluently.they areaskedto look at one ladderand color in all angles on it congruentto a given one. summarizethe property (one set of congruent angles) on a card for later reference. .and if they spontaneously phrasing. the interviewerasks "Now you've found some featuresof ladders. Finally students are asked to review the special of properties a saw. The same process of formulating propertiesis repeatedfor saws. They are then asked to apply these properties in a parallelogram grid to that are formulate/explain the oppositeangles of a parallelogram congruent. Coloring Angles In this activity studentsexaminecongruentangles on a trianglegrid and areled to develop propertiesof parallelism and angle congruence of saws and ladders. When this is completed.^f"~ r~/.

like this. FirstI'll make several parallellines. like this--thenI'll draw a line crossing them. they are not questioned further. in particular.They arethenshown sheets 1 and 2 (see drawings):"Hereare two picturesof a .36 Students are shown how parallel lines can easily be madeusing opposite sides of a ruler.to identify parallel lines. saws andladders. they are asked about the converse. and then the studentis asked to constructa saw using only the traced whathas angle.will the lines be parallel?" always The demonstration now repeatedfor a saw. do you thinkthe angles will always be congruent? And if I makeone with congruent angles.the interviewersays: "So you see there are two ways to make a ladder--one using parallel lines. is The intervieweruses the ruler to constructa saw with parallellines. one using angles. Students are shown the parallelogramgrid constructedearlier. P _ -) p r il '"T--- 7A _-) //_ note: If studentsdo not recognize the "if-then" natureof this constructionat this point. Studentsareled to summarize been done for saws. What do you think is true about these angles? What could you call what I have made?" Then the interviewer constructs a ladder using only congruentangles by drawinga line and then tracing congruentangles along it. Awarenessof the distinctionbetween a statementand its converse is an indicationof level 2 thinking. and also to summarize againwhatwas done for ladders. and how congruent angles can be made by tracing around an angle cut-out.but if they do. "Whatdo you thinkI could say aboutthese lines? What could you call what I have made?" In summary. Next studentsare asked to apply what they know about saws and laddersto prove informallythatangles are congruent. and are asked to review. Then the interviewer constructs a ladder using only parallels as follows: "I'm going to make somthingusing only this ruler. If I makeone using parallellines.

they are shown sheet 3. Some studentshave difficultywith this unless particular numbersare assignedto the angles--theydo not seem able to make generalstatements. the one to come in the next activity). studentsmust be able to of applythe transitive property congruence. 4/p note: In orderto be able to reasonthroughsheets 3 and 4. a summarycardfor opposite angles of a parallelogram is shown. could you use a saw or a laddderto show that these two angles are congruent?" (The summary cards for saw and ladder are availablefor reference. they are then asked to summarize the argument for the other pair of opposite angles." Other studentshave difficulty more generally in following/giving with severalsteps.but can say "Let'ssay this one is 70 degrees. Finally. "Do you notice anythingabout the angles in a parallelogram?"In summary.and are askedto color in all angles congruent to a given one. Forexample. They are to encouraged use saws and laddersto explain the coloring. we might use saws andladdersto help. Students are then shown the parallelogram grid again. If they need guidanceto do this. . and if necessaryare shown how to do it.) When students can identify the appropriate saw and ladder in sheets 1 and 2. "Sometimeswe need to use a combinationof saws and laddersto show that angles are congruent. This process is repeated for sheets4 and5.37 I I I L L f+ I I L I / / part of this grid. Y 4'~~~~~5 L~~~~~i iii / 7 wlcte OpffrOit< are 1roroverat^. explanations The five sheets on the parallelogram grid are necessaryto practiceapplication of the saw and ladder propertiesprior to considerationof their use in informal "proofs"(level 2) (such as the one given for congruence of opposite angles of a and parallelogram. and this one.then so is this one. p of X. If we wanted to color in angles which are congruent. studentsareaskedto explainwhy the opposite are angles of a parallelogram congruentusing saws and ladders. and studentsare asked if (andhow) they have seen this fact before." Students are given a chance to try this.on this one.

. Developing Properties from Grids This activity is designed to develop angle sum properties of triangles and abilityto explainthese using grids of tilings. Students are then asked to verify the fact on another grid. "Whatdoes this tell you about the threedifferentangles together?"The fact that the angle sum of the triangleis 180 degreesis shown summarizedon a card. it was found thatthis priorknowledgecould interferewith theirreasoningaboutthe saw and ladderargumentbecause they do not feel the need to explain what they alreadyknow. They also consider the Activity 1. so that at least four instanceshave been verified. Studentsare then asked to explain again how the coloringon the summarycardtells thatthe sum of the angles is 180 degrees. Studentsare asked to color in congruent angles in appropriatecolors. In Activity 1. it was found thatmany subjectshad learnedthis fact before by rote or by measuringangles and addingthe measures. and to assess a student's quadrilaterals properties. In Activity 5.. (including why the saws and ladders are saws and ladders). They are asked if they have learned this fact before. measurements they made of a trianglein triangle grid.. / Nl . Thus it was decidedto ask aboutpriorlearningof this fact only after it was developedhere./ .iA\ct is l0? o:Tri-\t ./ / rdo iE^j<~ y^r Studentsare given a triangle grid. on which one triangle has its angles colored in three differentcolors. note: This is the first time that studentsare asked explicitly about the sum of the angles of a triangle. studentsare asked "Whatdo the three colors correspondto in the originaltriangle? What point?" Then one half is coveredwith a sheet ~of paper.. how.7/:\. Finally. .38 Activity 5. and if so. and asked if they think it would work on any you notice aboutthe colors aroundthis Suwvol tic gIcs iS I0 ofot a'.. When all angles have beeen colored around a point. using saws and laddersto explain. they are again shown the sheet from Activity 1 which shows a triangle with only two angle measurements given. . if studentsdid not complete it earlier..

39 Questioning about use of saws and ladders in other grids or on the summary card allows assessment of whether a student is thinking in terms of a particular the to diagram. and said that the sum of the angles of each triangle is 180 degrees. and those who appreciate thatthe subdivisionargumentwill work for any quadrilateral. '{J| ^_ ^_ _ I11 i ! I = !? i-+1 ! - I -O^~~-. I I I 0 I I I I note: Many students seem to misinterpret subdivision of a quadrilateral the into two triangles--theyconfuse measurementof angle with area. how.or is able to abstract argument a more generalsituation. They are then asked if the sum of the angles of any quadrilateral will be 360 degrees.They are asked about angle sums while looking at square. and which way they prefer to think about angle sum (tiling patterns or subdivision into triangles). and if so.studentsare askedto summarizewhat they've learned about quadrilaterals. which can be fitted together. The question about which method is preferred distinguishes between studentswho like the strong visual impactof the tiling. andparallelogram grids. the interviewer leads studentsto discover this method. Studentsare then asked to considerthe angle sum of quadrilaterals. they are given copies of an irregularquadrilateralwith the four angles colored. . if they can see that an extra 360 degrees is includedwhen the angle sums of all four trianglesare added. they are given the diagramshown with two diagonals drawnin: "Someonedividedthis quadrilateral into four triangleslike this. some studentswill have introduced the idea of finding the angle sum of a quadrilateral dividing it into two triangles. Once students seem comfortable with this idea. using it on a couple of examples. Students are asked if they had learnedthis fact before. By this point.rectangle. To verify. A summary card is presented for angle sum of quadrilaterals. The question about four triangles determinesif they really know what is being added. Whatwould happenif you do it this way?" Finally. by If it has not been suggested.

glt c5l\C mea5u<es < /. These cardsreferto: |LPOD . fpour.1Atloyf & I 1 Saw (congruent angles coloredin) Ladder(congruent angles coloredin) are Oppositeangles of parallelogram congruent Straightangle measures180 degrees Angle sum of a triangle Angle sum of a quadrilateral. "Sometimes you can use informationthat you know to help you learn new things.The completeddiagramis compared to a "familytree.\ S00O -1les Ofpositet of a. The notion of an "ancestor" relationbetween facts is introducedthroughreferenceto facts of arithmetic.\ SAW A st -o.40 Activity 6. For example. Family Trees This activity is designed to assess the student'sunderstandingof concepts developedpreviouslyin the module.I . Studentsare asked to put arrows in the diagram relating other types of arithmeticfacts." 10 . to introducearrowsas a symbol for relations between properties. the process of coloring angles in a trianglegrid. ?. and the two techniquesfor finding angle sum of a quadrilateral.as shown.and to assess the student'sability to interrelate propertiesand develop a logical hierarchy. and to explain their thinking. Then lateryou used these facts to help you lear how to add two-digit numbers. students are led to review parallelism and angle congruence of saws and ladders. using tens and ones. Studentsare shown cards from earlieractivities which summarize facts and properties developed. do you remember when you learnedhow to add numbers? First you had to learn the simple facts such as 2+3=5 and 5+4=9. Studentsare asked "Canyou explainwhatthis card means?" If answers are not complete. in problems such as 25+34=59." This relationis pictured with an arrow.

Some studentssuggest a cardfor angle sum of hexagons. more loose arrows. if necessary they are led to see how this implies thatthe angle sum of the pentagon can be found as 180+180+180 degrees. "Could we go the other way--could we find some ancestorsof this fact. .41 SuvY is of aoA\Ces t 0?. %. or a triangle and a and quadrilateral. The expected family tree is as shown to the left. or 180+360 degrees. "How would the you arrange cards?"Studentsare askedto explain their placement of arrowsand cards.J of (o tr'i ^a lI The interviewer points to the fact summary cards and says: "Let us return to these geometryfacts we've been discussing. Students who have been successfulto thispoint are asked if they can thinkof any other cards that might be put at the bottom of the family trees. Do you see how one of thesefacts couldbe an ancestor of another?"If necessaryan example is given of how to place an arrowfrom "anglesum of a triangle" to "angle sum of a quadrilateral" cards. this Studentsare then askedhow this fact could fit into the family tree startedbefore.and a scalene triangle grid. Whichever method they use (three triangles or quadrilateral and triangle). What did you need to find the angle sum?" If necessary. a pentagon? Why?" If a hint is necessary.studentsareprovidedwith sticks to subdivide a pentagon. They may construct either three triangles.etc. A card is shown summarizing fact. Studentsare then asked "Whatcould you say about the angle sum of a five-sided figure. The interviewer then refers back to the remainingfact cards. the interviewer points out thatit couldbe done the otherway andthat the family tree will then be a bit different. studentsare helped to recall the use of saws and ladders in this argument. the angle sum of a triangle is 180 if degrees? It may help you to remember you look at this trianglein a grid.

Students are given a sheet as shown: "We looked at some propertiesof a triangleearlier. The activityis only done if studentshave been successful in formulatingthe angle sum propertyof a triangle. Some studentstend to interpret the arrowas meaning "I learnedthis first. Then they can measureand record the angles. ladders. Studentswho give the logical relationseasily. Activity 7. studentsare given time to think about it.and to provide a logical justificationof an observed fact. and can express them fluently with arrows (explaining why arrows can't be reversed) indicatelevel 2 thinking.care is taken to show thatdependingon how you thinkaboutit.42 I5AvJ l\ LAVDEP |/ |@ /l /5a~k of the fact card for opposite angles of a Finallystudentsareaskedto identifyancestors a s Opposite oIf 'C L. Then they are asked. sum of the angles of a triangle) to a new situation (exteriorangle of a triangle). Exterior Angle of Triangle In this activity students are challenged to apply previously learned facts (propertiesof saws. arithmetic.and to fit this into the family tree. "Measureto check.5At. the pentagonangle sum could fit into the for family tree in two differentways. to avoid confusion of reasoning difficultieswith difficultiesin geometricconcepts.that is. The review of the saw andladderarguments sum of a trianglein this activitydetermines how comfortablestudentsare just angle with this type of thinking. Could you say anything about the relationship among these three marked angles?" Students are allowed time to think aboutthis. zo') ~ /0. "Inthis one. Maybe we can find a new propertyinvolving angles. "Haveyou ever thoughtabouthow facts can be related like this before? in geometry? in other mathematics topics? in anything Y]ELg 7else?" of note: The initialintroduction the languageof ancestorsandfamily trees is put in the context of a familiar topic. *i ^~ Z (45 75'. would be?" Again." For this reason. This activitydeterminesif studentswho did level 1 or level 2 workbefore can do likewise here in a new situation. if they are thinkingat least at level 1. Studentswho can only relatethe arrowsto time sequence in whichthe facts were introduced may be thinkingonly at level 1. rom o(L^lloco . \ '/~* ~ .the exteriorangle. two measures are given. What do you thinkthe third. They are then shown a second sheet. parallelogram.

andto explainwhy. students are . perhaps shown. The family tree from the previous activity is then shown. and asked if they can also do it anotherway. However if necessary. They are then asked "Can you explain why thatshouldbe so?" Littlehelp is given at first. and studentsare asked "Canyou fit this cardinto the family tree thatyou made before? Why did you arrange thatway?" it xw /\Q#{#88{~~~~~~~ n TI. while level 2 thinkersseem more capableof discussingthe angle measurements in general. and if they thinkit is true for any triangle. studentsare askedto summarize it. Students are led through the argument if they fail to provide the reasoning themselves. When this happens. Finally they are shown another sheet. since the aim is not to instruct the argument. in but to assess the subject's ability to reason throughthis alone. and ask how it relatesto partsof the triangle. When the propertyseems to have been discovered. Students are asked if it is also true for this triangle. for they should not end the module with a sense of frustration. arguingthat x+y+z = 180. note: Some students provide an algebraic explanation.43 Do you notice anything?"Studentsare led. or to provide the dotted line shown. using the diagram Studentsreasoningat level 2 are likely to searchfor and use propertiesof saws and laddersto justify the numericalrelationsamongthe angle measures.they areasked logical explanation to explainwhatthey say. However if they can provide a themselves. so w = x+y.while those at level 1 may be satisfied to check particular examples. if necessary. showing a triangle with the exterior angle drawn in a different position. and w+z = congratulated. a hint can be given to thinkof saws and ladders. tAtcvior Aic.to see thatthe sum of the measures of the two interior angles marked is the measureof the exteriorangle marked. Level 1 thinkerstend to talk about angles in this activity by attachingvalues to each angle measurement. of o -trol& Cis c5usl to +two +~^ suw* of tt OphoirQ te ior 0 a^t\5. 180.

44 Module 3 Overview This module deals with discovering procedures for finding the area of rectangles,right triangles,parallelograms, trianglesin general,and trapezoids. At level 0, students use tiles or transparent square inch grids to find the area of a for At level 1, they discoverprocedures finding areawhich are generalized figure. for figures of a certaintype (e.g., the area of right trianglesis found by forminga rectangle,finding its area,and takinghalf). At level 2, studentsshow relationships to among arearules using family trees and also give informaldeductivearguments justify arearules (e.g., explainingwhy two congruentrighttriangleswhen properly placed must form a rectangle).Hence, for right triangles,the area is one-half the are this productof its base andheight. (note:Throughout module word descriptors used for finding areas of figures instead of symbolic formulas unless students initiatethe use of symbolismthemselves.) The module opens with a change-of-pace activityusing tangrams.Activity 2 is activitiesneed to be done indicatingwhich instructional basically assessment--thus (as shown in the diagramon the next page). Activities 3 to 7 sharea formatwhich for blends instruction assessment. Firststudentsare led to discoverprocedures and the area of a shape, to generalizethe procedure(e.g., "tellhow to find the finding area of this kind of shape to a friend")and then "explainwhy it works." Several areaproblemsare given and studentsexplain their solutions indicatingwhich rule they used andhow they used it. Finallythe arearulesarerelatedin a family tree. The final activities are optional for students who have done some level 2 thinking in the module. One deals with similarity,use of saws and ladders, and discovery/proofof the midline rule for the areasof figures having theirvertices on two parallellines (Area= midlinex height),thus unifyingthe arearulespreviously developed. The other assesses a student's ability to recognize and explain during interrelationships amongthe variousfamily trees thathave been constructed in prioractivities in the threemodules. The module is summarized the diagramon the next page.

45

1

**Tangrams of Assessmentof AreaConcepts--Ways FindingAreasof Figures
**

2 fromActivity determined Note: Results was whatactivity donenext. Most wentto Activity3 or4. students

2

3

4

Areaof Rectangles

Area of RightTriangles Area of Parallelograms

5

I

6

Areaof Triangles

Area of Trapezoids

41

(7 8

Areaof FiguresWhose VerticesLie on Two ParallelLines

9 9 FinalAcvity on FamilyTree Final Activity FamilyTrees

Activity 1. Tangrams This activity provides a change of pace from work in Modules 1 and 2. It informally assesses understanding of area and gives some experiences in decomposingshapesinto othershapesin orderto compareareas. Tangram pieces are placed in front of the student with no directives from the interviewer,to see what the studentdoes with the pieces. The interviewer asks if the student has seen thesebefore,andif so, whatwas done how to make with them. After demonstrating

46 a simple puzzle, the interviewer asks the student: "Can use these two smalltriangles you to make this small square? The middle size triangle?This parallelogram?"After making the boat, house, and dragon puzzles, the interviewerdirects the student'sattentionto the bottoms of the puzzles (the shadedparts) and asks: "Whichof these shapeshas a larger bottom part? Or do they have the same space?" The studentis then asked to compare the areaof three shapesjust by looking. The studentcanuse tangram pieces to explain.

A

-L

1

i

8/?b

note: This activityprovidessome information aboutthe student's visual abilities, in particular when they solve the tangram puzzles. Some studentsworkquicklyand confidentlyand seem to take visual cues from propertiesof the shapes (e.g., sides that match). Others struggle, do puzzles on a "piece by piece basis," become and frustrated, need hints from the interviewer. Studentswho have difficulty with the puzzles also tend to have trouble comparingareas of figures or need to use areas. pieces to do this. Otherstudentsimaginepieces when comparing Activity 2. Assessment of Area Concepts and Ways of Finding Areas of Figures This activityassesses the student's of (as understanding "area" "spaceinside"), measureof area (as "howmany units cover a figure"),and proceduresfor finding the area of rectangles, triangles, parallelograms,and trapezoids. Based on the student'sresponses here, the interviewerbranches to appropriateinstructionin Activities3 to 7. Square inch tiles, a ruler, and a square inch plastic grid are available to the student. Showing two cardboard pieces, the interviewer says: "Supposeyou wantedto make a little jewelry box for a friend/sister. You want to cover the top with expensive gold paper. You can use these two sizes of boxes. Which top is larger? Which needs more gold paperto cover it? How can you check this?" the interviewer 'M~Then says: "Someoneasks you which top has the greaterarea. Which does? Whatdo you mean by 'area'? Anotherperson says the areaof this cover is 24. Whatdoes he meanby 'theareais 24'?"

(5) (5) UO?C _<!?g^^/'^^

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(t)

47 Then the studentwho uses a rule (e.g., "length times width") is asked to explain why one multiplies here and whether the rule works for other shapes (non-rectangles). This type of assessment is repeated for cut-out right triangles, parallelograms,and trapezoids, if the studentknows a rule. If not, the student uses a gridto figureout the area. note: In this activity the intervieweris carefulnot to provideinstructionon area, but simply to assess whatthe studentknows. Assessmentis not pushedbeyondwhat a studentseems to be able to do. Forexample,if the studentcannotexplainthe area rule for a rectangle (this is the case for many sixth and some ninth graders),the studentis not pressed to explain rules for othershapesand may just be asked to try to find areas of right triangles (using a grid and counting square inches). This activity reveals studentdifficulties with area concepts due to prior learning (e.g., confusion of area and perimeter, mainly for ninth graders). It also provides examples of "reductionof level" (i.e., when students apply area rules by rote withoutthinkingaboutwhy they hold). Activity 3. Rectangles This activity begins with Level 0 experienceson area--namely,countinghow many square inches cover a rectangle. Then it leads students to discover a the procedurefor finding the area of a rectangle--multiplying number of square inches in a row by how manyrows are in a rectangle. The procedure summarized is x by the arearule "length width." Activities4 and5 builduponthis idea. | | Having counted squaresto fmd the area of a rectangle,the studentis askedto find a quicker way to do this using strips of squares. "How many squares in a row? How many rows? How many squares in all? Why?" This is repeatedfor several rectangles with prompts if necessary, until the studentformulatesthe area rule "rowstimes numberof squaresin a row." The transitionto "lengthx width" is made by relating area via strips with area determinedby measuring length (rows) and width(squaresin a row). The studentis asked the to "describe rule to a friendover the phone and explain why one multiplies." To solidify of understanding the rule, the studentis asked

| 3|

The activityopens with findingthe heightand. This mapis used againin lateractivities. base of right triangles. using the L-square device. Results for several examples are recorded in a table. develop the alternate Activity 4.and righttriangle. finding the area of lots on a map of downtown Brooklyn provides practice on area of a rectangle. explainingwhen the rule applies and when it does not. the student is .48 to find areasof rectanglesand relatedshapes. r 7. Finally. but are unfamiliar These studentsenter the activity reviewing the rule they know and then height. . developedby having the studentfind areasof et S N right triangles systematically--taking 2 congruentcopies. After discovering the method. Those who do not know any rule for area of a rectangleenter at the very beginning and carefully develop the area rule. The studentthen finds the area of a !i : ^1 ^[ couple of cut-out right trianglesby counting squares overlay !l ITI Studentson an it is hardsquare inch grid. often catchingon aftera couple of examples. studentscan enterthis activity at different places. using an L-square device to measurebase and height of cut-outrectangles held upright. usually throughmany examples. "base x height. Reference to student's prior 6se Wtl5kt A rf of AreK of work with the tangram puzzle is made as The desired procedure is necessary.some studentsknow the rule and explainit.square. A secondcopy of the triangleis square availableand studentsare asked if using this would help. Right Triangles Studentsare led to discovera procedurefor finding the area of a righttriangle in termsof the areaof a relatedrectangle. Then they relate the arearules for rectangleand right trianglein a family tree. notice to count pieces of inches. and taking half." is developed.using I base ^^ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ x height. i Now an alternate rule. note: After the AssessmentActivity 2. 54 L It i\ iM H . After summarizing resultas "Area= this base x height / 2." form. forming a rectangle. with "basex Finally." they are asked to explain why the rule works. Students who know "length x width" but could not explain it may quickly go throughthe developmentof the rule.

and then to relate the parallelogram area rule to those for rectangleand right triangle via a family tree. At grid level 1.Three ways are possible: (a) using a grid and countingsquares.but how can you be sure? How could you explain that carefully to me?" Here the interviewer'slanguage about what is expectedfocuses the student's thinkingon level 2. It 1 |.what would you tell him/herto do to find its area? What measurementsshould be made? What shouldbe done? Explainwhy this works. At level 0. special cut-out pieces) which ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ embodymethodsb andc above. when guided and encouragedby the interviewer."They say the rule seems to work for any right triangle.thentake half because two congruenttrianglesmake a rectangle.to explain it. can give careful arguments. again using the L-square.49 Recta. Some. "Howcouldyou place an arrowto show which of these two rules we used to figure out the other?" I L/ 'C lor i or I 1 // /1/--I? Studentsthen find areas of lots on a map of downtown Brooklyn to review area rules learnedso far. At level 2. .you said the two righttrianglesmake a rectangle. namely. . Then the studentis askedto find the areaof a parallelogram on lot the map. ruler. Studentscan do the activity on level 0. however. riLt itlkt asked: "If you were talking to a friend on the telephoneandhe/she had a righttriangle. the studentuses a transparent to countsquaresandfigure out areasof triangles.the interviewersays: "Well. studentsdiscoverthe rule "measure lengthandwidthandmultiply. <. For example. . Parallelograms In this activitystudentsare askedto discoverprocedures finding the areaof for a parallelogram. using available materials (overlay grid. note: Students can respond at different levels in this activity.I aLL The activity opens with a discussion of the base and height of cut-out parallelograms.explainingwhy. the student carefully explains why two congruentrighttrianglesform a rectangle. (b) breaking it into two right triangles and a rectangle. (c) cutting off a right triangle and moving it to form a rectangle with the same base and height as the parallelogram.Studentsare guided to discover the thirdmethod." Then the family tree idea is reintroduced. then level 1. The studentis . Activity 5.

The activityassesses theirabilityto discoverthis method." ef The studentis also askedto reviewmethodb if he/she discoveredit and to place thatmethod into the family tree. IAreo of Activity 6. of A.to explainit.It 6--. ruler. thentakehalf. For whatever approach they use first." Then students are guided to . LstA NKs \^ ?I?^^\ '^^^ The activity opens with a review of the area rule for parallelograms how it fits into a and tree. (a) (b) (c) Forma rectangle. a Form parallelogram. to method c. and duplicatecopies of the triangle. Can rule into that tree? you put the parallelogram Explain. students are asked: "Do you think this approach would work for any triangle? approach c. into Subdivide two righttriangles. f pt grof lrec. Students can use a grid.D-stix.to. After using it they are asked: "How do you know that the two triangles \><At-< -Explain. Instruction leads studentsto discovermethodc.I CI P guided. Triangles In this activity students are asked to discover ways to find the area of any are triangle.50 fre. Threeapproaches shown below. the student is asked to summarizethis "to a friend"and also explain why the method works. After trying this method for a couple of parallelograms.andparallelograms family trees. then take half. Then the studentis asked:"Let'sgo back to our family tree. Then the student returnsto the ~family of mmap Brooklyn to find the area of a triangulargrassy plot. if necessary. via righttriangles. andto relatethis new rule to rulesfor rectangles.

Activity 7. studentsare again asked "Do you think this method will work for any triangle? Why?" Then studentsare given arearule cardsfor the four shapes discussed so far and asked "How can you arrange them in a family tree? Explainwhy you placedthe arrowsthatway. '7 I CI '-' ~according r^/ \9 Q\J \1 yO~ The activity opens with a "Guess-My-Rule" to the numberof pairs of parallel sides (i.this one deals with ways of findingthe areaof a particular shape. Divide the figure into a parallelogram and a triangle. 1. Divide the figure into two triangles. The studentguesses the makes a shapea ~rrule and then is asked:"What and trapezoid?" "Forwhich of these 3 groups do we know area rules?" This.namely. (top base x height / 2) + (bottombase x height/ 2).) of into sorting cut-out quadrilaterals 3 groups . or 0). a trapezoid. (a) (b) (c) Divide the figure into a rectangle and two right triangles." The activity assesses the students' ability to sort accordingto propertiesof a shape. 2.. Studentsare guided to methodb which can be expressedinformallyas "theareaof the trapezoid equals the sum of the areasof a top and a bottomtriangle. he/she is askedto show the otherway it would fit into a family tree. Trapezoids As in the two previousactivities. (note: This activity is the same as the optional activity in Module 1." If the student found the area in other ways. leads to considerationof finding the area of trapezoids.e.51 togetherform a parallelogram? What has to be trueaboutit to be a parallelogram?" After some examples. If the studenthas alreadycompletedthis activity. and to relateit to otherrulesvia family trees. it is only recalledhere. to discover and explain the area rule. of course.thatis.

." (For ninth graders with algebra experience. similarity. Given a sheet of ruled paper. Area of Figures Whose Vertices Lie on Two Parallel Lines This activityis for studentswho have done level 2 thinkingin this module.52 The studentis askedto measurethe heightof a trapezoid.and its "base(s).g. If other methods were cited by the student.midpoint)and to interrelate previously learnedarea rules using propertiesof parallellines. : i\ .. Then the student is asked to put the trapezoid rule in the family tree and ft ] [. J \I -Z troce3o0. the rule A = 1/2 bh + 1/2 b'h is developed. Thus.formed by the ruled lines. This leads to the discovery: "If parallellines are equally spaced then they cut off equal pieces on any line crossing them. PR. The activity closes with considerathirdgroupof the initial sort--generalquadrilaterals."Then the student identifies trapezoidlots on a map and tries to find a method for finding their areas." Other diagrams illustratingexamples and non-examples of this principleareexaminedby the student. of RrtLo Vc-ct* lc fY \:2~ fro. "Whatdo you need to measurehere to fmd the areaof the trapezoid? Explain.) "Do you think this "/ \ . saws and ladders.o| ft^/ Po. It assesses a student's ability to learnand apply new concepts (e. The student is encouragedto develop any of the three approachesand is eventually guided to the second approach. tion of ways to find the areas of shapes in the LhZ.->e of explain. and similartriangles. and they are asked to explain it.. Activity 8.. the student draws several lines in different positions on the paper and is asked what is trueof the segments. on each of the lines drawn. It for provides opportunities studentsto discover a generalprinciplefor finding the areaof figureswhose verticeslie on two parallellines. he/she is askedto put themin a family tree also.ratio. this activityprovidesan overallassessmentof students' level 1 and2 thinkingrelatedto area. Methods are summarized in the tree ~family by the student.r o rigttink ofkl \\ paeloeloyL' The student is asked: Imethod will work for any trapezoid? Why?" The studentis askedto summarize explainby ing how to find area of a trapezoid to a friend on the phone.t ^ D=7 [?att os.

Tropeo30. The questionis raised:"Couldyou express the area of a rectangle and a parallelogramin a similarway? Explain."two trianglesare similarif theirangles agree"and sides of similartriangleshave "corresponding the same ratio. by dividing the trapezoid into two trianglesandby using the midlineof a triangle fact.the studentis askedto recapitulate argument. triangle." This is followed by: "If you wanted to summarizefinding area of these figures." The student then shows (with guidance as needed).parallelogram.53 Next the student is shown a spider web-like figurewhich containsvarioussets of triangles. From this the studentdiscovers that the area of a trapezoid can also be expressedas midlinex altitude.by means of ladders and similarity.d Mi(ll.trapezoid). the studentdiscovers propertiesof similar triangles--namely. the The studentis asked: "Couldwe express the area of a triangle in another way..thatthe midline of a triangleis one half of its base. using the midline?" The usual response is "Oh. thatthe midlineof a trapezoidis equalto one half the sum of the bases." These discoveries are checked by placing cut-out figures on the spiderweb figure. The concept of midline is introducedand the studentthen establishes.g. it is midline x altitude."If guidancehas been necessary. a. what would you say?" The studentis usually quite surprisedand delightedby the discovery that midline x altitudeworksin all cases. The student is asked: "Wouldthis be true in any triangle? Why? Explain. In exploringthis figure. rectangle. using the midline idea.e = -1 Sum of ?OoLLSt 'w_-~ i (b+b') t . The studentis guidedto use these discoveries in exploring relationships in figures whose vertices lie on two parallel lines (e.

e. pC. ancestors? What are they?" The student is /7 .of otllelIoy.' .ifkl tree. The studentis asked: "Canyou see any the student is asked to explain each family / 7 X72 n~ of ARreL tria^k | </ A^-e< \\to v7 of 1pe30. I\ ocve it4y The studentis then asked to put all the ideas in generated this activityinto a family treeand to explainthe interrelationships. .lty. y c ro50ss ?flta^(L . "Do you think the saw and ladder principles have helped to recognize that there must be some beginningpoint.54 If porolll .4 to having a common ancestor mean? Explain and/orillustrate. IV.% Fo-r f'igvus w. areas of polygons.iA ll vt'iceoS pr&lltl i iwtS : t-/-/ z A/---\ VIAt ft _x Activity 9.f\ O _ ight tf.." The studentis encouraged in traceinterrelationships trees and to note the role of saw/ladder principles. EI Areo. Final Activity of Family Trees The goal of this final activity is to assess the student'sability to recognizeand amongpreviouslydevelopedprinciples. areas of figures whose vertices lie on two parallel lines) and relationship among these trees? Do they have any common ancestors? Which? What does rto*Xl\ [ 0.ies 5Ps.ros o sa itv.. properties of parallelograms. point out interrelationships The familytreesthatthe studenthas developed in Modules 2 and 3 are displayed (i. angle sum for polygons. r.cet.

55 LAQDEP. arithmetic algebra? or . / /OOS Questions are raised and discussed about the possibility of constructing family trees for otherpartsof mathematics besides geometry-thatis.

Dina van Hiele-Geldofs dissertation. In all. the version of the van Hiele model is described Project'sformulationof an operational and examples of student responses are cited for level descriptors.the needed to flesh out this skeletalversion. in particular. M. van Hiele who agreedwith the Project'sinterpretation the of levels. the Project's documentationof the level descriptorsby quotations from van Hiele sourcesis presented discussed. a closer look at the five levels. van Hiele's "TheChild'sThought and Geometry". Also. M. The Project'sinitial version of the van Hiele model was relatively simplistic and based on Wirszup's (1976) characterizationof the levels. specific behavioraldescriptors each for level were formulatedand examples of specific tasks or responses of studentsto activitieswere given for some level descriptors. In reviewing these sources the Projectsought to locate specific passages that dealtwith the levels.with a majoritycoming from three sources: P. "A Method of Initiation into Geometryin the SecondarySchool.CHAPTER 4 VAN HIELE LEVEL DESCRIPTORS: DEVELOPMENTAND DOCUMENTATION An overview of the five van Hiele levels. While this version provided an adequatestartingpoint. Dina van Hiele-Geldofs dissertation.andmovementfrom one level to the next throughfive phaseswas given in Chapter This chaptertakes 2. Second. ten originalvan Hiele sourceswereexamined(see page 72 for a listing). First." Analysis of these passagesled to revisionand expansion of the initial version of the model and the generaldescriptorsfor each level were recastin behavioralterms. Manysuchpassageswere found. the Project'scharacterization the at of van Hiele model in terms of specific behavioral level descriptors. M. P. it lacked sufficient detail to be an operational model for the developmentof the Project'sinstructional/ assessmentmodulesandfor the assessmentof a student's level of thinking. This was done by reviewingother Project van Hiele sourcematerials--inparticular. van Hiele's of (1959/1984) own description the levels and Cilley's(1979) initialresearchon the levels. and Formulation of the van Hiele Model The Project'scurrentformulationof the van Hiele model is the result of an evolutionary processwhich involvedthe analysisandreanalysisof van Hiele source materialsand discussions with Pierrevan Hiele and other van Hiele researchers.Thus.and their joint article.This second versionwas examined in April 1980 by P. This second version underwentfurtherchanges as a result of reanalysisof the . theirproperties.

Of course. The revised level descriptorsare presentedon the following pages. Examplesareprovidedfor level 3 as illustrationsof thinkingat this level. Level 0 is analogousto the groundfloor of a building--itrepresentsthe type of thinkingthat all studentswill initially bring to a new subject. For each level a generaldescriptorprecedes a list of specific descriptorsand accompanying examples. The descriptorsfor level 0 play a somewhat different role than the descriptorsfor higher levels of thinking. and 2 were derived from performancesof 12 year-olds in Dina van Hiele-Geldofs teaching experiment (1957/1984) and of with level descriptors in performances sixth andninthgraderson tasks correlated the Project's clinical interviews. While making these revisions. in May 1981.57 of van Hiele sourcesandcarefuldocumentation the specific level descriptors against 70 selectedpassagesfrom the sources. . A discussion of this currentversion in light of results of the clinical interviews is included in Chapter 10 where questions are raised about the of for appropriateness some descriptors levels 1 and 2." level below no level 0. This revisedsecondversionwas reviewedby P. Such studentsshould not be describedas "notyet at level 0. These examples served to clarify the Project's interpretationof the levels. 1. the Project clarified its interpretationof the model and also of the expression "on a level" in relation to a student--namely." In the Van Hiele model. Examples for levels 0. van Hiele.the studentconsistently exhibits behaviors for all Project descriptorsfor that level.two researcherson the van Hiele levels. some studentsmay not be able to do all of the types of actions listed underlevel 0 descriptors. or to incompleteor erroneouspriorlearning. possibly due to lack of experience in the area under study. M. Students' thinking at levels 3 and 4 were not investigatedeitherin this Projector in Dina's. Their reviews resulted in minor changes in wording for level 1 and 2 descriptorsand the additionof examples for each level descriptor. thereis no "basement. and also by Alan Hoffer and William Burger. however they were not directly observed in this study. The Project's current version of the model includes the above mentioned changes and also modificationof the descriptorsfor level 4.

Ic. Studentpoints to angles of a trianglecalling them Student refers to angles by color (e.g.Van Hiele Level Descriptors and Sample Student Responses Level 0: Student identifies and operates on shapes (e. "anglesA and B add to ma .. la. c. 3.g. the "redan by letter symbols (e. Studentmakes a tiling patter with cut-out triangl and copies the patter (piece by piece) on paper. b. in a simple drawing.g. triangles) and other geometric configurations(e. lb. grids) according to their appearance. in Student identifies squares! a set of cut-out shap or drawings. rectangles.draws. constructs. Student makes figures with D-stix: rectangle parallel lines.. in differentpositions. lines.. Level 0 Sample StudentResponses Level 0 Descriptors The student 1. 2. in a shape or other more complex configurations.g. Student points out angles.. and triangl in different positions in a photographor on a pag of diagrams. squares. angles. identifies instances of a shape by its as appearance a whole a. Studentpoints to the rightangles in a trapezoid. 3.or copies a shape.. ladders). names or labels shapes and other geometric configurations and uses standard and/or nonstandard names and labels appropriately. Student outlines figures in a grid (e. 2. diagram or set of cut-outs. angles parallel lines.g.

does not make generalizations about shapes or use related language. or n shape have a property. Student does not spontaneously use "all. b. as 4. 5.4. Student points to sides of a square and measures but does not generalize equal sides for all square 7c. 6. comparesand sorts shapes on the basis of theirappearance a whole. Student uses transparent"angle overlay" to find measure of the thirdangle of a triangle. 7a. some. Student identifies squares by appearanceas a wh taneously introduce"equalsides and right angles 7b. does not analyze a figure in terms of its components. c. Student describes a rectangle as "looks like a squ as "aslanty rectangle"or angle as "likehands on c Student uses trial-and-error approach to so tangram puzzles such as making square parallelogrampieces from two small trianglepiec Student verifies that opposite sides of a rectangle parallelby placing D-stix on edges. such quantifiers in telling whether all. Student places square inch tiles on a rectangle counts them to figure out the area of the rectangl 7. solves routine problems by operating on shapes rather than by using propertieswhich apply in general. 6. Student says "one is a square. . verbally describes shapes by their as appearance a whole. identifies partsof a figure but a. some. the other is a rect when asked to say what is differentabout a cut-ou Student sorts cutout quads into "squares." 5. does not think of properties as a characterizing class of figures.rectang "theylook alike.

sorts shapes in different ways according to certain properties. interprets uses verbaldescription of a figure in terms of its prop- 1. and uses properties to solve problems.congruence of angles in a tiling pattern). 4. Student makes up a rule for sorting quads--for numberof right angles. Studenttells how a cut-out squareand rectanglea terms of their angles and sides. 3."checking with D-stix th or are equally spaced. 3a. and a. 3b. Student observes that for a parallelogram "th parallel and so are these.g." 2. identifies and tests relationships among components of figures (e. including a sort of all instances of a class from non-instances. recalls and uses appropriatevocabulary for componentsand relationships (e. Student reads property cards "4 sides" and "all s draw a shape with these two propertiesthat is not . congruence of opposite sides of a parallelogram. Level 1 Sample Responses Level 1 Descriptors The student 1. b.. or by numberof pairs of 4a. 2.Van Hiele Level Descriptors and Sample Student Responses (continued) Level 1: Student analyzes figures in terms of their components and relationships between components. a. comparestwo shapesaccording to relationships among their components. Studentpoints to sides and angles of a figure and s "ithas 4 right angles and all 4 sides are equal. corresponding angles are congruent. opposite sides..g.establishes propertiesof a class of figures empirically.diagonals bisect each other).

scribesa sawanduses it to identify congruent ang = can Student explainthe arearule--Area lengthx whenit appliesanddoesnotapply andrecognizes 5.andoppos (e. as b. Givencertain properties cluesabouta shape. describesa square overthe telephone a to 6. Fromseveral numericalcases..g.to erties and uses this description the draw/construct figure. Student in sides. parallelograms) termsof its properties. student you can find the area of a right triangleby m and rectangle takinghalf its area.4b. discovers properties of specific 5. After coloring in congruentangles in a triang student notesthat"thethreeanglesof the triangl sameas thethreeanglesthatmakea straight a line angle sum of the triangleis 180 degrees.stu mustbe on thebasisof theproperties. describes a class of figures 6a. . the studentdisco angleof a triangle equalsthe sumof its two nonandbelievesthatthis is trueforanytriangle. a.4 rightangles. interprets verbalor symbolicstate. certainproperties. After several instances of putting two congue to the triangles together forma rectangle." The thinksthis will workfor othertriangles tries and thisby usinggridsbasedon othertriangles.all sidesareequal. b. given 6b."the s mentsof rulesandappliesthem. figures empiricallyand generalizes for properties thatclass of figures. tells whatshapea figureis. When shown a propertycard for "saw.

discovers properties of an unfamiliar class of figures. 8." Student solves a problem about the line conne centers of two circles of equal radiiand the line co the two points where the circles intersect. 360?) or because into two triangles (180? + 180? = 360?). so do these squa (pointing to these groups of sorted cutout quads). 9. identifies which properties used to characterizeone class of figures also apply to another class of figures and compares classes of figures according to their properties. Student figures out how to find the area of a ne shape by subdividing or transformingit into shap whose areas he can already determine (e.. parallelogram into 2 triangles and a rectangle o into a rectangle). After completing a sort of quads into kites and discovers and verbalizes propertiesthat character When asked to find some angles in a photograph are lots of angles because there are many triangle each has 3 angles.g. solves geometric problems by using known properties of figures or by insightfulapproaches. 9.e.. 8. .The stu a rhombus in the diagram and observes that the because they are diagonals of the rh perpendicular Studentfigures out the angle sum of a quad is 360 the 4 angles arounda point (i.Van Hiele Level Descriptors and Sample Student Responses (continued) Level 1 Descriptors 7. -laving noted that parallelograms have "oppos student spontaneously adds "oh. Level 1 Sample Responses 7.

After discovering the principle that the angle sum of logical explanationsof generalizacoloring angles in a triangle grid or by measuring. does not formulateand use formal lOb.the student but does not identify a set of necessary or a set of su definitions. When shown a parallelogram grid. tions discovered empirically and see any need for giving a deductive argumentto sh does not use related language is valid. (e." erties. When asked to define a parallelogram.10. the student explain how the idea "opposite angles are equal" f from "oppositesides are parallel. formulates and uses generalizations about propertiesof figures (guided by teacher/materialor spontaneously on own) and uses related language (e. if-then. every." b..lOc.. d. After the studenthas listed the propertiesof all the ships beyond checking specific infamily. all. does not see a need for proof or lOd. c. does not explain how certain properties of a figure are interrelated. none) but a.g. because) correctly. lOa.g. . the student cannot explain why "all recta stances against given list of propgrams"or why "all squares are kites. does not explain subclass relation.

2. formulates and uses a definition for a class of figures. Level 2 Sample StudentResponses Level 2 Descriptors The student 1." c.and follows and gives deductive arguments. Studentconcludes that "if angle A = angle B and an angle B. gives informal arguments(using diagrams. erties the fewest properties so the friend would b must be a "square.la. In describing a square to a friend." . having drawn a conclusion from given information. parallelograms) and tests by drawings D-stix that these propertiesare sufficient. gives informal argumentsthat orderpreviousl discovered properties. then angle A = angle C because they bot angle B. a. Student explains that two different sets of proper characterize a class of parallelograms--either "4 sides are parallel"or "4 sides" and "oppositesides a b. or other materials). erties that characterize a class of figures and tests that these are sufficient. 2a. identifies different sets of prop. Student selects properties that characterize a c squares. a.Van Hiele Level Descriptors and Sample Student Responses (continued) Level 2: Studentformulatesand uses definitions. the student selec ties thatcan characterizea figure. justifies the conclusion using logical relationships. identifies minimumsets of proper. Studentformulatesa definition of a kite and uses it are or are not kites.Ib. Ic. cutout shapes that are folded.

discovers new properties by de. 2c. if you do 4 x 180? you have to ta the extra angles in the middle." . Student responds to the question Is a rectangle a explaining "yes. the inside angles are not par quad'sangles. the student summarizesby making a fa ing "you need this thought (rectangle rule) befo rule).2d. leaves 90." When asked if it is po get 4 x 180? = 720? for the angle sum if the qua divided into 4 triangles (as shown here). 2b. So. because they have all the propert and also the special propertyof right angles. the explains that "No. the student says "the lines are parallel. so angle A equals angle B by a s b." acute angles in an d." Student uses the propertiesthat characterizekites a why all squaresare kites but not all kites are square c. and that gives 720? 360? just as before.the studentsa equal is not needed because it alreadysays that all fo Having figured out a rule for the area of a right tria a rectangle. and th saw (pointingto it). Given a list of propertiesof a square. ordersclasses of shapes. orders two properties. and that is what is left for the two acute a Student deduces that the angle sum for any quad 360? "because the quad can be cut into two trian 180? plus 180? makes 360?. Student explains that the two add up to 90? because "180 minus the rig triangle duction.When asked to explain why angle A = angle B in a grid.

interrelatesseveral properties in a 2e. student expla "straight angle = 180?"are ancestors of "anglesum and how this leads to "anglesum of a quad is 3600." Student tells how the area rule for a parallelogram the area rule for a rectangle and puts this in a famil gives informaldeductivearguments a. follows a deductive argument and 3a. Student gives reasons for steps in a proof that the a can supply partsof the argument. sum of a triangle equals 180? as the interviewergu the student through the proof." The student is not able to give the explana on his own but does follow the one given by the in viewer for angle A = angle C. e. gives a summaryor variation of a 3b. Student is given a parallelogramgrid and asked to deductive argument. Student arranges property cards to form a gene family tree.Van Hiele Level Descriptors and Sample Student Responses (continued) Level 2 Descriptors Level 2 Sample StudentResponses Studentdiscovers that the angle sum for a pentago by breaking the pentagon into a quad (360?) and a (180?) and says that this will work for any pentago 3. b. "ancestral" relationships--that is. a logical explanation why "opposite angles are c gruent. Stu summarizes this argument and then gives a comp argument on her own for a variation of this ( angle Y = angle R + angle S). Then the stu summarizes the explanation in his own words and explains why angle B = angle D. Interviewer assists the student through a deduc explanation of why the exterior angle of a tria (angle X) equals angle P + angle Q. .

and MT is parallel to BC. Also." 4. So since AM:AB as 1:2. So the shape mus rectangle. prove something and justifies these explanationsby using family trees.6. and the right triangle must be half the a the rectangle. informally recognizes difference between a statementand its converse. find the ratio of MT to BC. gives deductive arguments on own." When same statements. sightful reasoningto solve problems. In a discussion of saws and ladders. angles A and right angles because in a right triangle the two sm angles togethermake 90?. Student gives two different explanations why the a equals 180?--eitherby two saws or by a saw and a l are then shown by two different family trees. Given the problem that M is the midpoint of AB in triangle ABC. then the lines are parallel" lines are parallel. identifies and uses strategies or in. Angles B and D are angles in the right triangles. and in the otheryou 6.c. in one y lines and make the angles equal. then MT:BC as 1:2. 3c. the student realizes "No. Studentgives explanationon own for "oppositeang are equal. 5. Student explains the angle sum of a pentagon equa into three triangles (3 x 180?) or by dividing it into (360? + 180?) and showing each method by a family 5. then the angles are equal. Angle Z is the same as an so Angle Y and Z add up to 90?. the student uses the strategy of ladder to get congruent angles and hence similar triangles. gives more than one explanation to 4." Studentjustifies why the area of a right triangleis explaining that two congruent right triangles mak put the two trianglestogetherlike this. the studentdisc angles are made equal. you get oppo the trianglesare the same size). .

argumentand approachesproblems in a deductivemannerbut a.g. cannot separatethe "Siamese twins"--the statement and its converse). not with th same radii. Student recognizes the role of logical explanatio ments in establishing facts (versus an inductive.. The studentproves this b establishing that ADBC must be a kite and then th perpendicularity of its diagonals makes AB perpendicularto CD.. b. definitions) and so is uncert to possible "ancestors" the saw and ladderprinciple . axioms. 7. recognizes the role of deductive 7. does not see the need for definitionsand basic assumptions). does not yet establish interrelationships between networks of theorems. does not formally distinguish between a statementand its converse (e.g. c. em says (after giving a logical explanation) "I know every pentagon is 540? and I don't have to mea student has yet to experience "proof' in an axiom postulates. and a common chord CD. does not grasp the meaning of deduction in an axiomatic sense (e. show that AB is perpendicularto CD.Van Hiele Level Descriptors and Sample Student Responses (continued) Level 2 Descriptors 11 Level 2 Sample StudentResponses Given two intersectingcircles A and B.

definition (e. converse. tionships that were explained informally on level 2. 5. the congruent. Studentproves the sum of the angles of a trianglee way (e. theorems and interrelationship between networks of theorems.g. contrapositive). 1. 2.. networks of theorems. 4. Using proof by contrapositive.. postulates. definitions. and t plane geometry and describes how they are related Student identifies sufficient properties for def parallelogram)and derives other propertiesfrom th Student proves that two sets of properties are equ shape (e. inverse. Level 3: Sample StudentResponses Level 3 Descriptors The student Note: This study was not designed to include an in-d studentsusing level 3 type of thinking.g. within a postulational system.3. using the parallel postulate. recognizes the need for undefined 1. proves relationships between a 4.. postulates).Level 3: Student establishes. parallelogram). Student gives examples of axioms. necessary and sufficient conditions) and equivalence of definitions. Student proves that if a triangle is isosceles. and basic assumptions (e. saws and l about angle addition). 3. theorem and related statements (e. establishes interrelationships among 5. However.g. student proves that do not bisect each other. proposed student responses which in the Proj indicative of level 3 thinking. Student recognizes the role of saws and ladders involving propertiesof quadrilateralsand area rule . terms... recognizes characteristicsof a formal 2.g. and conversely.g. proves in an axiomatic setting rela.

unifies several differenttheorems. . gives formal deductive argumentsbut 10. examines effects of changingan initial 7. 9. compares and contrasts different proofs of theorems. definition or postulate in a logical sequence. Student proves the following relationship for the vertices lie on two parallellines: area = midline x Student gives proofs of theorems in a fmite geomet 10.Van Hiele Level Descriptors and Sample Student Responses (continued) Level 3 Descriptors 6. consistency does not investigate the axiomatics set of axioms. Startingwith "Two lines perpendicularto the same student investigates how to prove other parallel line 8. axioms frequently using a model to supportarguments. Student gives proofs via Euclidean geometry geometry (or vector geometry) that the diagona bisect each other and comparesthe two methods of Student compares alternateproofs of the Pythagor 7. Studentdoes not examine independence. establishes a general principle that 8. themselves or compare axiomatic systems. creates proofs from simple sets of 9. Level 3: Sample StudentResponses 6.

. independenceof an axiom. establishes consistency of a set of axioms.g. spontaneously explores how changes in axioms affect the resultinggeometry. 2.Level 4: Studentrigorouslyestablishes theorems in differentpostulationalsystems and analyze comparesthese systems.g. searches for the broadestcontext in which a mathematicaltheorem/principlewill apply. 5. creates an axiomatic system for a geometry.. and equivalency of different sets of axioms. rigorouslyestablishes theorems in different axiomatic systems (e. 3. does in-depth study of the subject logic to develop new insights and approaches to logical inference. Hilbert'sapproach to foundationsof geometry). compares axiomatic systems (e.. Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries). invents generalized methods for solving classes of problems. Level 4 Descriptors The student 1. 6. 4.

(1957). of processfor adults.] Purmerend: how to meet them.] Bulletinde l'Association des Professeurs Mathematiques l'Enseignment de de Public. 8 and 9 are made in terms of pages in the Project's English translation of selected writings of the van Hieles (Fuys.] (Unpublished 1957). secondary as van Hiele-Geldof. Development the learning and process.how to avoid van Hiele. and van Hiele. van Hiele-Geldof. Differences between raters were identified: (a) quotes that were inappropri- . into vanHiele. (1986). M. University Utrecht. P. Several passages repeated ideas in others. About 100 passages in these sources were found to be related to the levels. another staff member validated the documentation. 8. A sample of these quotations is given on pages 74-76. P.P. perhaps stated in terms of responses of pupils in Dina van Hiele-Geldofs teaching experiment. In H.] (Unpublished of doctoral dissertation. (1980. 8 and 9 are included along with source 1 in the Project's English Translation of Selected Writings of Dina van Hiele-Geldof and Pierre M. Geddes.198. New York:Academic Press.72 Documentation As noted above. Documentation was done by a Project staff member who identified quotations and checked each quote against level descriptors. Paperpresented the annualmeetingof the NationalCouncilof Teachers WA. [A child'sthought geometry. Seattle. & Tischler. 3. geometry(pp.V. 5. [Understanding insight. M.67-80). (1958). Nine major sources were the basis for the documentation reported below. Mathematics. 6. 4. In all. P. Translations of sources 2. 7. (1958). Englishsummary. the Project's current version of the van Hiele model was based largely on analyses of van Hiele sources.P.Reporton methodsof initiationinto J. (1973). of at them. Freudenthal at secondary (Ed. 1984).1-31. [Didactics geometry learning D. Wolters. Ultrajectina. (1959). M. University Utrecht). 9. van Hiele (Fuys. M. Levelsof thinking. A method initiation geometry schools.D. 199-205. (1957). (1959). Groningen: B. 1. van Hiele. & Tischler 1984).P. After the staff member correlated the quotes with level descriptors. [The didacticsof geometryin the lowest class of of doctoral dissertation. 2. and van Hiele. Acta Paedogogica J. Others were more specific. Geddes. "Excelsior" Drukkerij Antwerp: 2.). M. and of D. vanHiele. Wolters.[Theproblem insightin connection with school children's insight into the subjectmatterof geometry. Muusses. & vanHiele-Geldof.P. Groningen: B.] N.. note: In this section (pages 72-76) all page references for quotations from sources 1. Structure Insight. of van Hiele. school. 70 quotations were selected for documentation of the levels. M. M. April).

but give almost none at levels 3 and 4. Also. and 2 is particularly strong. Most differenceswere of the secondtype. geometryat the secondaryandcollege levels in formulating As noted above five level descriptorswere not correlated with any quotations. The documentation for yielded 11 quotations level 0. They providenumerousexamples of studentperformance levels at 0. The Projectstaff engaged in considerablediscussion about the specific descriptorsfor levels 3 and 4. the quotations provide some insight into the overall natureof the van Hiele model. In additionto sheddinglight on the natureof eacih level. most notably. 11 for level 3. 4-8. some featureof the model. why there are relatively few referencesin their writings to levels 3 and 4. 19 for level 1.at level 4 is less precise. 1985) which is available throughEducational ResourcesInformation Center(ERIC). 4-9) were documentedby at least one quotation. Hence the Projectregarded these descriptorsas tentative. These descriptors were kept because they reflected student performances that seemed to fill in a level. staff membersdrewupon theirexperienceslearninggeometryat the secondary. differencesarose of from alternativeinterpretations or inferences to be drawnfrom the passage. 3. A complete listing of the 70 quotations and Tables indicating their correlationwith level descriptorsare found on pages 79-105 of the Project'sFinal Report (Fuys. they tend to speak in of generaltermsaboutthe higherlevels.73 ately matched to a descriptor. particular. For example. For example. 2-5.and graduate levels and their experiences teaching these level descriptors. since most descriptorsare documentedby several quotations. Results of the documentationsupportthe Project'sinterpretation the van of Hiele model. Some quotationsdocumentedmore than one were documented severalquotations. Many descriptors by but five descriptors(2-la. and 2. 2-lb. namely quotations(see 7 and 12 below) highlightan important that at each level there appearsin an extrinsic way that which was intrinsicat the . Dina van Hiele-Geldofs thesis. 1. and 2 is to be expected since the van Hieles were secondary school teachersand thereforechiefly concered aboutteachingandlearningat these levels. in particular. Projectdocumentation specific descriptors at level 3 and. This explains. in the more generalpassagesfor levels 2. 1. The validation of descriptorsfor levels 0. 21 for level 2. undergraduate. The abundanceof referencesin the sources to levels 0. and4.In most cases. In additionto analyzingthe van Hiele sources. and they were resolved by discussingthe passageandpossible descriptors. Geddes. 1. All specific descriptor. & Tischler.and (b) quotes that were not matched initially and shouldhave been. in part. and 8 for level 4. The largenumberof quotations was includedin this documentation to facilitatea more completecharacterization the levels thanwas providedby other of researcherswho did not have available English translationsof several majorvan Hiele sources. 2-la ("identifiesdifferentsets of properties that characterize a class of figures") and 2-lb ("identifies minimum sets of propertiesthat can characaterizea figure")lead to 2-lc ("formulatesand uses a definitionfor a class of figures").

of a definition. a square. Thus the child will not reproducing be botheredby the difficulties resulting from drawing figures. In our researchwhen one has shown a six year old child what is a rhombus.namelythe intentionof the studentto think in a certainway. the diagonalsare equal. These aremetacognitive aspectsof the model.g." The importof languageat each level is seen in manyquotations. the rhombus is not a parallelogram. Others(see 5 and 11 below) supportanotherfeatureof the model-by namely.74 precedinglevel. andmonitoring one'sthinkingas a problemis solved.processes such as comparison figuresby theirappearance. (2.a rectangle. With the instructions given to them. the pupils fill out the basic level. It is also being to awareof whatis expected. page 231). A child recognizesa rectangle its formanda rectangleseems different by to him than a square. the interviewer-teacherplays an role important in helping studentslear the subjectmatterandprocessesand also in and becomingawareof expectations evaluatingthe qualityof theirown thinking. With the structurethe pupils are able to discoverimportant principlesof working. However. The importantthing on the basic level is that all the solutions thatpupils are askedto find can be readfrom the structure. At the First Level of Geometry. Thata figureis a rectanglemeansthatit has four rightangles.planningpurposefully thinkon a level. Anothernotes "theyknow they have to searchfor relations" deductionfinally becomes a habit"(source9. Figures are recognized by their . 245) 2. (5.one indicatesthatstudentsare at the firstlevel when (source9..The problemsthe pupils have are purely visual. there are no rules. that the levels are characterized different "objectsof thought. Almost all of the quotations deal with cognitive aspects of the model--for of formulation example. For example. 2) on Quotations Relating to Level 1 3. giving a proof).figures are judged by their appearance. At the Base in Level. the figures are holders of their properties. and the opposite sides are equal.he is capable of these figureswithouterroron a geoboard. that means that they are forming a rich structure thatlevel. p. a parallelogram. At the Base Level (level 0) of geometry. As will be discussed in Chapters 7 and 10. thatat level 2 "purposeful These quotationssuggest thatthinkingat a level is more thanjust knowing content and performingcertaingeometricprocesses (e.and giving an informalproof. a few of the 70 quotations deal with a differentaspectof the model. Quotations Relating to Level 0 1. At this level. p. page 225).the rhombus seems to him a completelydifferentthing. a child does not recognizea parallelogram the rhombusshape.

. or he should be able to finish afterhavinghis attentiondrawnto this rhomb. it is a rectangleeven if the figure is drawnbadly. At this secondlevel of thinkinga childknowshow to reasonin accordance with a deductive logical system: that is. But at this level the propertiesare not yet ordered. It means also that the pupil can conclude from the parallelismof lines the equalityof angles. If one tells us thatthe figure drawnon a blackboard four right angles. On the otherhand. (3. A second level is attainedwhen a pupil is able to apply operativelyrelations known to him between figures known to him.At this level a geometric understanding the isosceles triangle--semi as shape is still interpreted the totalityof its geometricproperties. does not see the importanceof the knowledgeof the figurecontainingthe rhomb. 8) of 8. p. (2. p. 42) . must be able to concludethat. 245) 4. the pupil not having attained the level. (2. This implies for example that the pupil who knows the propertiesof the rhomband can name them will also have a basic of rhomb.fullfilling the laws of formal logic. At this first stage we say that the first level of thinking--the aspect of geometry--hasbeen reached. its argumentsnow show an "intrinsic planning. For instance." This is not however identical with reasoning"onthe strength" formallogic. The squareis by of recognizedas being a rectanglebecauseat this level defmnitions figurescome into play. the segmentjoining the centersof the circles areperpendicular each other. p.if a pupil knows thatthe afterhaving reachedthe first level he diagonalsof a rhombare perpendicular. Logical relations are not yet a fit study-objectfor pupils who are at the first level of thinking.. (6. They are deducedfrom one another:one propertyprecedes or follows anotherproperty. At the Second Level.if two equal circles have two points in common. At this level the intrinsicmeaningof deductionis not understood the students. pp. p. 41) 5. (7. the propertiesare ordered. A first level is attainedwhen the pupil is able to apply operativeproperties known to him in a figureknownto him.. (6. Thatmeans thata pupil having attainedthis level is able to apply congruenceof geometricalfigures to prove certainpropertiesof a total geometricalfigure of which the congruentfigures are a part. It to may be that he does not directly see the rhombin the figure. 77-78) Quotations Relating to Level 2 6.75 has properties. p.so that a squareis not necessarilyidentifiedas being a rectangle. The pupils are not yet capable of differentiatingthem into definitions and propositions. 245) 7.

and the interrelation between these facts.or the essence of mathematics. A of the various deductive systems within the field of comparative study geometrical relations is a subject reserved for those. The thirdlevel. 245) in 11. They are able to help with the buildingup of a deductivesystem fromthe foundations. (7.who can seek out missing axioms in other geometriesand who can establishthe foundationof a new theoryand build a deductivesystemon it. p.but the axiomaticsthemselvesbelong to the fourthlevel.one fmds personswho can comparedifferenttheories. 80 and 8. 211) 15. Finally we can choose as a subject-matter system of propositionsitself. that they have acquireda scientificinsightinto geometry. surfaces. The childrendiscoveredby reasoningthat the angles of a trianglesum up to 180 degrees. conditionis necessaryand when sufficient.andonly them. (7.. p.Amongthem. 250) 12. using the implicationarrow. p. who have reached the fourth level of thinking of geometry. Only the pupils who have reachedthe scientific insight(fourthlevel) can study the foundationsof the theory. p.namely: the link between a when a theoremandits converse. pp. pp.with the converse of a theorem. The logical relationswere put into a logical pattern. (2. (2. what is meantby logical ordering The aim of instructionis now to understand (what do we mean by: one property "precedes"another property?).why axioms anddefinitionsare indispensable. as for examplewhen they first studythe cylinder.. thatof discernment geometry. Studentscan now try to ordernew domainslogically. 192) . (8. p. with axiom. In the ordering these theorems certain ideas will become apparent. lines. Of these we can say. 71-72) Quotations Relating to Level 3 10.76 9. the analogous facts for other polygons.(2. (7. At the ThirdLevel. 248-249) the 14. Systems of axioms belong to the fourthlevel where in fact one no longer asks the question:what are points. The of materialis madeup of geometrictheoremsthemselves.etc. figures are definedonly by symbolsboundby relations. thinkingis concernedwith the meaningof deduction. p. At the third level it would be possible to develop an axiomatic system of geometry. 75) Quotations Relating to Level 4 13.? At this fourthlevel. with necessary and sufficient conditions..

The third of partof the course shouldallow the attainment the thirdlevel. The secondpart of the course shouldallow the attainment the second level of thought. van Hiele (1959/1984) stated: The first part of a geometry course ought to allow the attainmentof the first level of thought.. There has to be a "fifth"level of thinking. M.which we will call the aspectof geometry. and indicate her thinking about a furtherextensionof the chartabove.. 249. (p. If a course could be continued further(which is generallyimpossiblein generaleducation). The chart below summarizesthe van Hieles' description of the levels using this frame of reference.which of we will call the essence of geometryor the aspectof mathematics.. and "scientific insight" as applied to thinking in geometry and mathematics." "discernment of" (or "insight into")..the van Hieles frequentlyused. (pp. 250) that in ( The van Hieles also used this sameframeof referencein describing levels of thought for the subject of logic in comparisonto geometry and mathematics.the phrases "aspect of.thatis.77 Another Frame of Reference for the Levels In describinglevels of thought. insight into the subject operationsof a mathematical has thinker. only a mathematical thinkercan arriveat such a study.but his information to be acquiredby means of sensoryperception.. thatof discernment in geometry. in sequence.. For example. of discernment mathematics. pp. Level 0 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 GEOMETRY Aspect of Geometry Essence of Geometry Insightinto Geometry Scientific Insight into Theoryof the Subjectof Geometry MATHEMATICS LOGIC Essence of Aspect of Insightinto Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics Aspect of Logic Essence of Logic The following quotations from the writings of Dina van Hiele-Geldof (1958/1984) suggest a possible "fifth"level.. 231) The objects of study of a logician are the thinking . 232-233) logic .in describinga geometrycourse.." "essence of..the fourth level would be attained. that is..P.or the essence of mathematics ..

rightangle. The Project'smodules were designed primarilyfor students with average or above average achievement. As indicatedin Table 1. The first section as they workedwith an intervieweron the Instructional below describes the subjects. 12 were minority students(9 Blacks and 3 Hispanics). The subsequentsections presentand discuss resultsin termsof specific the behaviorsof individualstudents. which were as administered partof city-wide testing in late Spring.except Arthurand Frieda. Arthurand Friedawere interviewedfor four one-hoursessions. were interviewedfor eight sessions. A score of 6. All but one sixth gradesubject(Juan)came from school A. Studentsone or more years above gradelevel were classsifiedas high achieversin this study.those one or more years below gradelevel as low achievers. In the second section an overview of the results is presented. bothraciallyand in termsof achievement level. Subjects Subjects for the clinical interviews were selected to reflect the diversity of studentsin New York City publicschools. The 16 were studentsin two large K-6 public schools in Brooklyn (denoted as A and B). subjects were mainly at or above gradelevel as determined theirscoreson mathematics readingsubtests and by of the Metropolitan Achievement Test (Intermediate. serves a predominantlyminority population with a variety of ethnic backgrounds.8 or so would be consideredon grade level at that time of testing. There were 16 sixth-gradesubjects--9boys and 7 girls.a student's level of thinkingwas determined mainlyby his/her to responsesto assessmenttasksin Modules1. they workedonly on Module 1 and were given extrainstruction andpractice/review basic geometricconcepts(e. 80) characterize a generalway in each student's on key activities. in particular. questionsin key activitiesin these modules. parallelism)and on use of these conceptsin properties figures. 2 and3. located near Brooklyn College. In additionto characterizing level of thinking of the sixth gradesubjects. of Results: An Overview As statedearlier. All subjects. Form L).these sectionsfocus on the subjects'progress(or lack of it) withinlevels or to higherlevels. School A.CHAPTER 5 CLINICAL STUDY: INTERVIEWS WITH SIXTH GRADE SUBJECTS This chapter reports the results of the Project's clinical study with sixth graders. Entriesin Table2 (p.. Threetypes of codes were used to describe thinking . and on learningdifficulties. School B serves a mainly Hispanic population. Subjectswere interviewedindividuallyin six to eight 45-minutesessions Modules.g.

0 6. HS means student scored 9.4 4.Stllrint Modules 1 2 3 R?onlinr MAthirmnatlr.0 or above.1 6.9 12.0 9.5 5. .8 6.79 Table 1 Achievement Test Scores and Modules Completed by Sixth Graders Grade Scores Equivalency .8 8.4 7.4 4.1 7.9 5.8 6.4 5.7 5.3 x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x note: X means that studentscompletedthe entiremodule.5 HS HS HS HS HS HS HS HS 7.0 8.9 12. / means that the module was partiallydone.1 5.8 6.0 12.9 12.8 7.e Andy Norma John Jeffrey Juan Luce David Murielle Gene Frieda Arthur Bruce Ramona Sherry Adam Deanna 12.

gE ed g U9 ~ .2 i II = 5 S- tiasic Concepts ir u*-1 0 u' 0 . u' 0 U* u* u* (u* lp .Table 2 Sixth Graders' Level of Thinking on Key Module Activities Group I Group II Grou d) cC t) c ?~ P ? o bk .I 0 $ $ o . Quads) 0 Propertiesof Quads Subclass Inclusions Uncover Shapes Minimum Pioperties Definitions Kites Properties Subclass 0 0-Ig 0-1 0-1 --0-1 - 0 O-lp 01 0-1 0-1 0 0-lg 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-lg 1-2 0-1 - 0-1 lp 1-2p 1 -2p 0 lp 2p 1 1-2p 0-ig 0 0 0 -0 -- 0-ig 0 0 0* -0 -0 0-lg 0-1 0 O* -0 g 0-1 0-1 --0 Ip I 1-2p 1 2s I 1-2p 1 2p l 2 1 lp ps 2p 0-lg - -g 0-g 0--lg 0 0 p 2 ip 2p - . 1 1 0 lp lp 0 lp Sorting (Polygons.

g i g 0 0 Ig 0 - s ip Area: Trapezoid Area: Midline Rule Key: -- O* g p s weak response respondedwith guidance respondedafter a prompt respondedspontaneously unable to respond .Angle Measurement Saw/Ladder Proofsvia Saw/Ladder 0* 0* 0-1 -- 0* 0 -- 0 Is 2g 0 Is - Is 2g Is 2p AngleSum: Triangle AngleSum: Quad.Pentagon Exterior Angle 1-2g 2p Ig Ig lp 1-2g 2p lp 2p 2s - Concept of Area Area: Rectangle Area: RightTriangle Area: Parallelogram Area: Any Triangle 0* 0-1 0-1 0 0 0 Ip Is 0 0 0 Ig Is .

g. At times a student's thinkingin level 0 was weak. the studenthad incompleteunderstanding basic concepts (e. . Group I The thinkingof the students(Sherry.asking specific questionssuch as: "Whatcan you say about these two opposite angles? .that of is.g. Sometimesa studentwould respondspontaneously withouteven being askeda question or given any instructions--for example.82 level descriptors. . other figures?" Frequentlyguidance was needed in deductive explanations (level 2). What about the questioning is denoted by: s = spontaneous.. Sherryand Deannawere . these 16 sixth gradersfall roughlyinto threegroups: (I) students who made little or no progress within level 0 or toward level 1.Deanna.for example. and the following codes were used in these situations: 0-1 indicatesthatthe student's responses were on an "it looks like" basis as well as being based on some properties. the interviewermight prompta studentby asking a generalquestionsuch as "Whatelse do you notice aboutthe parallelograms? Whatdo you notice abouttheirangles?" Still othertimes an interviewer might provideguidance. For example. a student might spontaneouslygive propertiesof a new shape. p = prompt. and (III) studentswho enter with level 1 thinkingand are in varyingstages of transitiontowardlevel 2. Othertimes studentsneeded a prompt. the qualityof a student's responsesin termsof the Project's (1) Students often did not respond consistently at one level on a task. These threegroupsare discussedin detailin the following threesections.Gene) in this groupwas almost uniformlyat level 0. to especiallywhen initiallyresponding assessmentquestionsor in instructional situations. At times studentsresponded withouthelp to questionsposed by the interviewer.. And these? . with the studentgiving reasonsalong the way andthenbeing askedto summarize the argument. parallelism. focusing on shapesas a whole and involvinglittle or no analysis of shapesin termsof partsandrelationsbetweenparts. (3) Studentsrespondedwith varyingamountsof assistancefrom the interviewer."l"). This type of response was coded by a number (e. This is indicatedby a dash (--). right angle. . . 1-2 indicates that students formulated properties and gave some simple deductive arguments(usually with guidance from the interviewer)but were not able to give arguments theirown. This was coded 0*. The amount of assistance provided during As shown in Table 2. g = guidance. of (2) Sometimesstudentswere simply unableto respondat all to questions. (II) studentsin level 0 who are progressingtowardlevel 1. measure of an angle) and also had little or no facility with relatedterminology.

Sherryand Gene also relied on D-stix to check parallelism and often lapsedback to non-standard to language(e. For example. The students could identify familiarshapes (square." All three students had great difficulty with angles. 4 angles. In a summary activity on Kites.that'sa box. Relations such as parallelism of lines and equality of angles were also not understood these students.even shortlyafterinstruction on them. Sherrysaid "2 as a rectangleand lines wouldbe shortand 2 wouldbe long. a triangle." They had little knowledge of partsof shapes and some misconceptions. Deannacould makeparallellines with D-stix andtest for parallelism with D-stix but could not readilyidentify them by eye. When the interviewer "Lookat the sides. nor could she verbalizecorrectlywhy lines were or were not parallel. Deanna's response was nonverbal--merelya gesturewith her hands of the sides of a rectangle. even afterextensive instruction Module 1 and some in "triangle" Module 2. "theyare straight") tell why lines areparallel.e. They called obliqueangles rightangles severaltimes. Their initial descriptions of "rectangle"were incomplete and poorly stated. said.causingher to confuse phoneticallysimilartermssuch as angle with oblique and triangle. She may have been seeing an angle as a closed figure.g. photographs and tiling patterns). when Gene referredto the sides of a rectangle.but did not do this readily in complex configurations (e. indicatinga gap in theirlevel 0 experienceswith angles. in a questioning voice.triangle). thus indicatingthat they had not yet learnedthese concepts and the relatedvocabularyin orderto use themeffectively. what do you notice?"she prompted. Forexample. For example.hence all the instructional branchesin Module 1 were by done with them.in an activityin which shapeswere gradually uncoveredand students were asked to name what it could or couldn'tbe. "Na. andthe sides are different" thingsto say about as kites." Gene identified I for a squaresaid. of indicatingthatshe was relyingheavily on the visual appearance the angle andwas in not thinkingmore abstractly termsof the concept "angle. These studentswere also deficientin theirlevel 0 experiences with shapes.g.he meantonly the two verticalsides. trapezoid. They had not heardof termssuch as parallelogram quadriand lateral.. The othertwo sides were the "top" not andthe "bottom. Sherry tended to say in insteadof angle.which at times was slow. Deanna mentionedonly "4 sides. they experienced many difficulties.quadrilateral). These studentswere not able to use the conceptsof parallelismand equalityto describe shapes. Gene forgot the new words "parallelogram" "trapezoid" Sherry said "Oh it couldn'tbe one of and and these threehardwords"(i. There was also some difficulty with figures in different orientations.rectangle. after six sessions." "sides. parallelogram. Sherryand Deannathoughtthat a cutoutparallelogram angleshad 4 rightangles.and they had greatdifficultyusing such terms. and Gene was about on grade level.83 low achievers. All threedid not recall measuringangles in gradeschool. even after instruction. "Equal?Parallel?" She was guessing and seemed .. However."Or this mightreflecta languagedifficulty.

These studentshad difficulties in attributing propertyto a group of shapes." Sherryfound the area this way: "I timesed it . 6 + 6 + 6 + 6). These students respondedincorrectlyor at level 0 on Activities 4 (Uncovering Shapes).. not necessarily two pair.andoften with an aid (e.g.84 incapable of formulating anything but a very simple description of the kites.and theirexpressive languagein generalwas weak.It was as if these studentswere "geometry basic geometric they did not understand deprived". Difficulties in using geometry vocabularywere compoundedfor these students when doing Activity 3 which requiredthe studentto list propertiesfor types of quadrilaterals. He still used D-stix to check for parallellines.e. 5 (MinimumProperties).. shapeby shape. In addition... Therewere glaringdeficienciesin theirgeometrybackgrounds. They responded eye. Gene did tiling and saws/laddersbut with little success." rectanglesbut did not verbalizea ruleas "length The above characterizationof these students' thinking indicates that they encountered many difficultiesin the modulesand showed little progressin level of thinking." "some. Sherrythought"oppositesides are parallel"meant some sides are parallel.and then say the propertyheld for the group. parallelismof two lines) limited their thinking about a group of shapes. which were intendedto assess level 1 andlevel 2 thinking. They madesome progressbut it seemedas on if the instructionwas not sufficient for studentswho had majordeficiencies with that topic. They did not seem to understand propertystatements.g.they did this slowly. Gene at first by said the squarewas bigger (wherethe rectanglehad a base of 4) but then said it was not bigger whenhe turnedthe rectangleso its base was 6." "none.. a Sometimes they would check a propertyfor only one or two shapes in the grour ignoringothers. concepts and related terminology. They relied heavily on promptsand guidancefrom the interviewer. who seldom respondedwith words or sentenceswhenpointingwould suffice." which are used in .when they did check each shapein the group. andneeded instruction angles andanglemeasure.. All showed a markedinability to talk about shapes. SherryandGene did some initialworkin Module2. sides are equal"were not partof theirspeechpatternand Expressionslike "opposite seemed to be pulled out of them by the interviewer. Certainlytheir lack of prerequisitecompetency with parts of shapes and simple relations (e.and 6 (Kites). For example. Sherryand Gene struggledin Activity 2 of Module 3 with the comparisonof areastask (5x5 squareversus6x4 rectangle). D-stix to test parallelism). Non-verbal responses were typical for these students. it would be the same thing"(i. because you can add it . This inabilityto test all given examplesin a groupmay indicatecarelessnessor perhapsa lack of level 1 of thinkingaboutproperties a class. She could calculate the area of times width. He could find the areaby multiplying "this side times that side" and explained "it'sbetter than counting.they were unable to use quantifiers such as "all. againat level 0.. Othertimes.

. quadrilateral. (c) more explicit directions from the " This last modificationwas intendedto make the studentmore awareof the kind of languagethatwas expected.were interviewedlast after several studentinterviewshad been analyzed. Group II Students in Group II (Adam.Friedasaid. four were approximately at grade level in reading and and mathematics. Ramona) exhibited thinkingthat was at times similarto that of studentsin GroupI but at othertimes markedly different. althoughit tended to be as informaland non-standard initially. Adam trianglethenlooking for another."which is one aspectof level 1 thinking." These students gave initial descriptionsof a rectangle that were more complete than those of Group I subjects. Some studentshad orientation called I a right angle but not /\ because it didn't"go straight.most could not describevery well whatthese termsmeant. one. interviewer to the student to "tell me carefully . and The students in this group identified shapes. Arthur. Indirectlyit also meantthatthe expectationwas "to describecarefully. even after doing all the instructionalbranches in Module 1. Some showed an ability to recognize instantly a collection of specific shapes. It shouldbe noted that modifications (b) and (c) were also made when Adam was interviewed since he neededextrainstruction review. in particularwhen propertiesof shapes were involved. Bruce. They received a modified version of Module 1 over 4 hours. Frieda. .parallelogram). They had heardtermssuch as hexagon. availability right angle. Of these five students.5 yearsbelow gradelevel. (b) review of basic concepts at the start of each session. and 90?. Bruce pointed out a "whole row of triangles"in a picture ratherthan identifying one difficulties.. Theirperformanceon the modules was characterizing mainly at level 0. For example." "use these geometry words .parallel.but thenturning head to view the figurenoted it did have 4. but still using mainly non-standard vocabularyand relatedto concretemodels or specific instancesof a rectangle. Arthurand Frieda.was about1.. However.pyramid. He also orientedcutoutfigures the same way (base horizontal)when sortingthem or discussingthem. Two students.rightangle. angles.in photographs other complex configurations. and parallel lines seemed to be facilitated by manipulativesupon which they relied extensively. at least familiar ones such as and rectanglesand triangles. The geometric languageof all five studentswas richerand more precise than that of studentsin GroupI."He thoughta his rectanglehad only 1 rightangle. opposite sides.. Adam.85 classes of figures (level 1). Limited improvementin their level 0 visual thinking about shapes. Ramona said a rightangle was "linesthatgo acrossandup"andat another time "linesthatare straight. Modificationsstrengthened instructional the natureof Module 1 and included: (a) of vocabularyreferencecardswith key termsprintedon them (parallel. .

. For example. These rectangles have all right angles. it has opposite angles . Whereas students in Group I completed Module 1 without improving their initial descriptionsvery much.rectangles). right angles. Arthurand Friedafrequentlyreferredto the vocabulary referencecards while doing this..and measuringsides and angles of figures.considerAdam'sdescriptionof squares andrectanglesat the beginningof the thirdsession afterproperties been listed in had session2.. he lackedthis for other.. . have opposite sides. he immediately and and have "mentalimages" for the familar shapes "square" "rectangle" could but verbalizetheirproperties. they'reeven [showing 2 sides are equal length and directlyabove each other].. They'reparallel [prompted]. Squares have 4 even sides. althoughthis was mainly limitedto familiar shapes (squares... 2 other even. sides are parallel. 4 angles... Bruce and Arthurgave similar descriptions of these three types of shapes. Activity 3-6 (Uncovering Shapes) also provided more practice on using responded: "Oh. it has opposite .. 4 sides .86 [referringto a D-stix rectangle she made] Sides are longer. top andbottomarethe same size andthe two sides arethe same size . These have 4 sides and [afterguidance] opposite sides are parallel [parallelograms] andequal. These studentsmade progressin describing shapesin termsof properties(level 1). GroupII studentsdid improve..]... yeah .e. It seemed as if they needed more level 0 experience in identifying. comparing. ." She then said a parallelogram with obliqueangles was not a rectanglebecause "it'sslanted. and they are equal [prompted] . They have parallellines [He pointedto shapesin the squaregroupas partof his explanation. The sides are equal..and this activitywas basicallya learningexperiencerather thanassessmentfor them. Squareshave right angles.less familiar."but added "becauseit doesn'thave right askedherto "saythis moreexactly. and these are straight[gesturingthatthe sides meet at rightangles].even after instructionon terminology. They needed considerable and prompting guidance.." This tendencyto angles"when the interviewer lapse into using non-standard language. Arthur's was responsefor parallelograms quite interesting. 2 even." He seemed to angles ... Frequently had oppositeangles"and no more (i. 4 angles .shapes. He was the only student of all 16 to say thathe "forgot whatthatshapelookedlike.and of to respondmore exactly aftera directivefrom the interviewerwas characteristic these students. All studentswere able to give propertiesusing familiarconcepts (4 sides. It has 4 right sides andthey are the same size.all 4 not the same. sides parallel)but had difficulty with properties they said "theshape involvingoppositesides andangles." He said this for parallelograms but when shown cutouts from the sorting in Activity 3. This was particularlythe case in Activity 3 when students first described properties of groups of quadrilaterals. omittingwhat was trueaboutthe angles).. Friedadescribeda rectanglein the fourthsession: "Thetop and bottomhave straightparallellines ..

" are The interviewerreviewed the meaning of equal angles and then Adam noted. In thekiteactivityAdammadethis An interestingapproach subclassinclusionwas to KITE . he said. and graduallyformeda verbaldescriptionof kites. thinkaboutthe things they have in it.87 properties. then 2 are . Adam gave "4 sides and 4 angles"for kites. Adamdid this and also said "opposite sides areequal"was not neededin describinga squarebecauseof the clue "all sides are equal." He was not X-justifying the subclass inclusion by a logical / RECT explanation (level 2) but rathermerely naming the (level 0).. the sides and angles"[pointingto a D-stix model for a kite]. [pause]oh.she identifiedequal sides. she replied." The studentshad not yet formeddefinitionson which to base subclassinclusions.yes" I-I an arrowto show this) but explained"because SQUARE QUAD (putting there was a square in the kite group.. Other studentsalso made limitedprogress. . family tree and correctly explained easy inclusions. Then when promptedto look at the sides. not geometric ones. how they are formed . All were able to explainsimplesubclassinclusionssuch as "squares are quadrilaterals"but none explained other inclusions such as "squares are and parallelograms kites. Students frequentlyused propertiesin telling why the hidden figure could or couldn't be a certain shape but also lapsed into level 0 explanations. Whendirectedto look for equal angles." This thinking seemed to be about number relationships (If 4 are . When askedaboutangles. Similarfindingswere obtainedin Activity 6. "Idon'tknow . squareas a kite on the basis of its appearance The students did not logically relate properties in Activity 3-8 (Minimum Properties). and hence did not givenby Adam. he pointedto equal ones but could not expressthis verbally. "norightangles. Her final descriptionof kites was "a pair of opposite angles are equal and two pairs of adjacentsides are equal. "oh. Kites.. For example. theirnames. Frieda spent about 10 minutes on the kite activity. When asked "Cansquaresbe kites?"he said.. Progresshere was slow these unfamiliar shapes in termsof properties but at times striking. The responsesof the otherfour studentsin GroupII were similarto this. While showing evidence of some level 1 thinkingaboutpropertiesof shapes. and GroupII studentsdid not logically interrelate properties give deductiveexplanations(level 2). "oh... They were not able to analyze withouthelp. yeah." Then when asked abouthow to name shapes. "there none. learned and then correctly used new vocabulary ("adjacentsides"). After she was promptedto look at partsof the shapes.. These studentstendedat first to give level 0 "it looks like" descriptionsof kites and with some guidance to use properties..."which was correctfor all but a square in the kite set. She was makingprogressinto level 1. these are equal. She said. "about shapes .. althoughsome studentssaid 4 sides meant4 angles.).."pointingto equal angles in some kites." At the end of her last session (fourth)she was askedwhatshe had learned. albeit slowly and not withoutlapses to level 0. Adamsaid.

" He had orientation difficulties with angles: not recognizing right angles in different positions. andnot to identifyingcongruentangles in saws. Adam said a right angle was "90?"but had no idea what this meant. they showed little or no evidence of logically relatingproperties(level 2). which required the in use of saws/ladders deductivearguments. at level 1. responses of Adam and Ramona in Module 2 and Adam. Ramonaand Bruce in Module3 were mainly at level 0. None saw a need to explainwhy. Both Adam and Ramona had difficulty estimating the measure of angles in degrees. The absence of deductiveexplanationwas also evidencedby the studentswho did Activity 4 in Module 2. The students frequentlyused manipulativedevices (e. did not work with angleseasily in gridsand saws/ladders. He said angles b marked"a"are equal but did not agree that angles b marked"b"were equal. althoughmost had difficulty expressinggeometricideas. Ramona could find area only by counting squares (level 0). They tendedto respondmore easily in the interviewsthan studentsin GroupI and also were less dependenton the interviewerfor feedback and reinforcement. In Module 3. in particular. AdamandRamonaenteredModule2 with little knowledgeof anglesand To him. . especially with standard geometric vocabulary. measurement. althoughBruce initiallyconfused areawith perimeter.. These studentsseemed to be in transitionfrom level 0 to 1. Their progress was slow. While they began to think about classes of shapes in terms of properties(level 1). For a trianglehe multipliedall threesides! In summary. "90?"was just a name he associated by rote with "rightangle. parallelograms and trapezoids).88 indicategeometricreasoningat level 2. These students. Ramonaand Bruce understoodarea to mean how many squares are needed to cover a shape. studentsin GroupII began in level 0 much like those in Group the I. but made progress within level 0 (learningbasic concepts) and towardlevel 1. reportingthat they had done little geometryin grades5-6.g. He multipliedto find the area of the 6 by 4 rectangle the saying "that's only way to do it"to explainwhy he multiplied. like those in Group I.g. Difficulties were encountered on unfamiliar shapes (e.familarones such as square and rectangle. D-stix) in checking propertiesor when answering. had a poor backgroundin geometry.progresswas markedby frequentinstabilityand oscillation between level 0 and 1. They used newly learnedconcepts to describeshapes and formulatepropertiesfor some classes of shapes. needingto turn a page with drawnangles to check for angles congruent a given one. with guidance. Bruce's thinking revealedreductionin level. They all tendedto be moreverbalthanthose in GroupI. Ramonaprogressed of slowly from almost no concept of angle to a limited understanding angles and but measurement. However. and. As indicated in Table 2. and they seemed to profit from carefully paced instruction that required them to work concretely while they verbalizedresultsin newly learnedterminology..

but the interviewer. However. Normainitiallythought /\was not a rightangle unless turnedthis way I . John.who scoredonly on gradelevel in reading..Jeffrey.Jeffrey responded: "Oh.. studentsin GroupIII exhibitedthinkingrelatedto descriptorsfor levels 1 and 2. This seemed to help Juansolidify his familaritywith those terms. Whennew ideas were introduced students seemed to approachlearning them confidently. Module 1: Analysis. Orientation of shapes was not a problem for these students in Module 1. some initial difficulties with new terms. For example. She often lapsed into using terms such as "slanty"for non-right for angle and "straight" parallel. with level 1 often occurringon entry assessment tasks and level 2 occurringas a resultof instruction (i. and the other five studentswho were more fluent and confidentin level 1 andmade considerable progresstowardslevel 2."indicatingextra review might have been useful for her before the listing of properties.e.andhe didn'thave difficultywith them in the discussionof properties. Most of the students had no trouble rememberinggeometric terminology.yes. rightangle." Murielle. Below. All eight students readily identified shapes in and photographs were familiarwith basic geometricconceptsand terms. "potential level"). As indicatedin Table 1. Luce noted that she "didright angles last year but forgot. Murielle. All eight students seemed comfortablewith the idea of shapes having parts: sides and angles. the orientationof a shape did influence how some students named it.later. and Andy) all of whom had high achievement in mathematics (high school gradeequivalencyscores). Juan also had However.showedsigns of weaknesswith standardterms."I never heard that wordbeforebut I thinkI know what it means. parallel. in giving of properties squares. addeda review of terms before Juan discussed propertiesof shapes." Interestingly. Juan called O a diamondbut said "it was a parallelogramif it was like this 7 . The eight seemed to subdivideinto two groups:Luce. Murielle.sensing this. Juan. resultsare reported on these eight students' workon each of the threemodules. Most had learnedaboutangle. When asked to identify angles in a picture.. Luce. David. when asked if she knew the meaning of "oppositeangles. and Norma who needed additionalexperiences which helped them to be successful on all level 1 descriptorsyet made some limited progress towardlevel 2.89 Group III The third group of sixth graders consisted of eight students (John. I just foundtriangles[a whole row] so therearelots of anglesbecauseeach ." Murielle responded.Luce did not cite "allangles are rightangles." Sometimesstudentsrotatedcutoutshapesor turnedtheirheads to view shapesfrom a preferredorientation.Luce andJuanneeded to review the meaning of paralleland John and Luce reviewed right angles. even after standardterms had been introduced. her use of non-standard terms was correct and precise. Norma..

90 in trianglehas threeangles"(level 1). Muriellesaid: "theyhave four sides .in Activity 4-2." But aftera promptfrom the interviewer (i.e. theirexpressivelanguagewas informal.However. It shouldbe notedthatthese tasks.providedthese studentswith learningexperiencesthathelped them theirassociationof a shape sharpentheiruse of geometriclanguageand strengthen to formally statedproperties. all four sides slant . ratherthan by relying on D-stix or other manipulativesto check.while intendedmainly for assessment. opposite angles").and Kites) indicatedthatthey all (Sortingand Property exhibitedlevel 1 thinking. They all seemed to realize that the objectivehere was giving propertiesfor each of the groups.. .. In the second partof this activity where propertycards were uncovered.e.studentsusually gave appropriate responses and tended to check spontaneouslywhetherthis new propertyheld for other groups. a promptfrom the interviewer usually resultedin moreprecise language. Responses of these studentsto several key assessmentactivities in Module 1 Cards. . . UncoveringShapes.even though they knew termssuch as paralleland rightangle. . rectangles)in Activity2 of thatwere informaland similarto those given by studentsin GroupII. At times.UncoveringShapes. even after formal terms had been introduced.However. "whatdo you notice about the angles .Juanfound severalrightangles by noting "Ijust found squaresand they have rightangles. The Group Il descriptions were usuallymore completeandelaborate.g. studentsused "property card"language to match the format in whichthe taskwas presented. .g... Their ability to do this quickly by eye seemed to enable them to check rapidly whethera property held for all figuresin a groupas opposedto studentsin GroupsI andII who tendedto check figureby figure. sides are slanty). While these studentssortedby propertiesof shapes. The studentstendedto use property expressionssuch as "notall anglesare right angles"or "oppositesides are not parallel"when telling why certainshapes could not arise in Activity 3-6.mainlyin the firstpartof this activitywherethe stimuluswas a cutout shapebeing graduallyuncovered. . The studentsverified by eye whether a propertyheld. they lapsed into level 0 explanations(e.." For these studentsthe description quadrilaterals propertycards(Activity of via involvednew 3-3) went quiteeasily withoutmuchguidance.these students did not use precise geometric language to describe rectangles. . Kites. This tendencyto describesorts informally persisted in a later assessment sort on kites. Responding a similarway by using properties of a shape. however. The visual natureof the task may have evoked level 0 responses. both sides are symmetrical. two pair of adjacent sides are congruent .. it doesn't look like a rectangle)and informallanguage (e.except whenproperties termssuch as "oppositeangles are equal." These studentsgave initialdescriptions shapes(i.

There was some initial confusion.they selected the threebasic properties thenexplained: and [Murielle] Obviously. Andy said. opposite sides parallel takes away all others except squares. all sides equal means opposite sides are equal so we don'tneed that." as suggested by the sorting in Activity 3-3.. After thinkingsilently for abouta minutebefore answeringthe interviewer. Student responses to questioningabout subclass inclusions indicatedthat all eight could readilyexplain simple inclusions. But upon questioningaboutindividualproperties. while most of the eight arrived at a minimum set of properties for square. For example.they included "opposite sides are parallel"along with the properties (four sides. rightangles are equal so oppositeangles are equal. because it says "all right angles. all right angles leaves out parallelograms I need one more .... you don't need "opposite sides areequal. all sides equal) which the other five students chose." angles are congruent. When parallelogram) for asked for the fewest properties a parallelogram. . Andy and Muriellespontaneously proceededto eliminateproperties deductively(level 2) and the othersproceededby (level 1).if it has four sides it has four angles . David and Normaalso did not have the fewest number of propertiesfor a square. Luce thoughtthat squareswere not only one property." Once you know that you don'tneed to know the opposite Because it already says all sides are equal.."foursides.. rectangles.. all right angles...91 Resultsfrom Activity 3-8 (Minimumproperties neededto define a squareanda indicatea mix of level 1 and 2 thinkingfor several students. For example." thinking that quads were shapes with . He seemed carefulabout selecting necessaryconditionshere.. however. squaresare quadsbecause they have four sides. opposite sides are parallel"and noted "you need the four sides. "4 sides .she eliminatedsome: "fourangles" because there are "foursides.." Murielle and Andy respondeddeductively (level 2).. quads because "it's got other properties . [Andy] Four sides means four angles .the qualityof thinkingto do this differed. David and Luce did explain how some propertiesresultedbecause of others. Thus. otherwise it could be a hexagon.Jeffreysaid. Jeffrey.." He recalledthis from a previousactivityaboutparallelsides andopposite sides of a hexagon. John and Juan all used the same strategyto choose the fewest properties--selecting propertiesto eliminate shapes they didn'twant (level 1)." "oppositesides equal"because "all sides are equal"(see level 2 descriptor2-2c)... The interviewer was easily able to help the student correct this misconception. Jeffrey.. Luce initially said all seven propertieswere needed--aresult she probablyrecalled from Activity 3-3 where she listed properties that characterizeparallelograms (level 1). "foursides gives any quad. all sides equal.... It should be noted that addingpropertiestill a squarewas characterized when questioned a bit later. and and parallelograms. about inclusion involving certainshapes and quads.

A main check on subclass inclusion thinkingwas done in Activity 4-2 (Kites) where studentswere asked to make a family tree to orderthe shapes kite. the statement.92 However. then the two lines are parallel.in Module 2 provided further insights into their capacity to discover properties of figures such as saws/ladders(level 1) and to follow/give deductive argumentsto orderproperties (level 2). They easily identifiedangles in figures. squaresare special parallelograms)."). later but in the Kites activity revised that.g. The arrowhere meant"is a special. parallelogram. David and Luce were incomplete or incorrect responses. indicatingparallelograms have "no right angles" and then. Even when some studentsagreedwith the interviewerabout such inclusions.g . they later lapsed into incorrectstatements. Dina van .correctedthis. / / confused by the arrowdiagramshere and gave / / -PL^^ . and gave all the properties they noticed when describing a figure such as a saw or ladder. Unlike studentsin GroupsI andII.and quadrilateral." rectangle.. Properties such as in a ladderthe "rungs have to be equal length"(Murielle). The extraneous becausemost of the exampleshad propertiesmay have been cited for saws/ladders those characteristics becausethe students. were sometimesinformallystatedand often involvedextraneousaspects. For example. John agreedthat squaresand rectanglesare parallelograms. All studentswere quick to discover propertiesof saws and ladders(level 1). then alterate interiorangles are equal. Correct responses ranged from very exact Q.g. andhas rightangles.who were quickto note such features. although Norma initially thought right angles had to be oriented a certain way and Andy seemed to have some perceptual difficulty in identifying right angles. these subjectsall had experiencewith angles and angle measurement. who put his thumbon a obtuse angle to show a right angleandacuteangle andaddedhis estimateof the acuteangleto 90?. _\ j \i \ E Sa -- Module 2." David said thata squarewas not a "regular" rectanglebecause "itssides are all equal and rectangleshave sides with two differentlengths"(which was David's initial definitionof rectangle).. The responses of these eight students. two "if and lines are parallel. Muriellecontendedthata squarewas not a parallelogram because "it'snot slanty." and its converse. square. They estimated the measures of angles well. The studentsassociated"parallel lines"and "equalangles"with saw andladder... and several used a strategy to estimate angles--for example David. after a promptfrom the interviewer. for several students confusion about inclusion relations among other by shapes persistedeven after some intervention the interviewerto show that one shapewas a special type of anothershape (e. Herethey were dealingwith a statement its converse(e.P using definitions(level 2) by Jeffrey arguments and Andy to informal explanations from Norma and Juan (level 1). "if alternateinterior angles are equal.

thatmakes the other two congruent.now I see it!" Murielleeven seemed to generalize the approachin these arguments:"If one angle is congruentto some angle and anotherangle is congruentto that same one. in Of the eight students. she recalledthatshe had "heard in fifth grade. properties(see level 2 descriptors Now we look at how studentsapproached angle sum of a triangle. but only afterinitiallyassociating"parallel lines -.who asked them to give reasonswhy certainangles were equal. did not seem to catch on at all. and David) presented deductive arguments why opposite angles are equal for a parallelogram.Luce." 2 David.93 Hiele-Geldofreferredto these two as "Siamesetwins. given only the promptto "trytwo steps. 2-3c). But in her final session she correctlyused saws/ladders the angle sum of a triangleexplanation.John. 2-3b. Jeffrey. Murielle.using saws and ladders.andJuaninitiallytriedwithoutsuccess to use just saws or just ladders. Norma the enteredModule2 knowingthis. for she askedthe interviewer few times a ." However." All eight studentshad some these Siamesetwins. One student. "Oh.andJuan)had difficultyhere andneeded guidancefrom the interviewer. None of the eight studentsspontaneously produced an argument to chainingsaws/ladders explainwhy angle 1 = angle 2 (Activity 3). Andy.These were examplesinvolvingdeductivearguments that logically interrelate 2-3a." Andy arguedthat angle 1 = angle x by a ladderand angle 2 = angle x by a saw so angle 1 = angle 2. angleb = afterhaving been guided through angle a. Andy colored in equal angles as he explainedratherthanusing terminology such as "angle 1= angle 2." After being given some guidance. five (Jeffrey. and responded "I don't know how" or "it can't be done. Juan. The studentsencounteredinformaldeductive argumentsin Module 2--first in of using combinations saws andladders. Severaldid not distinguishbetweenthe difficultyin separating statementand its converse--a result similar to that found by Dina in her teaching experimentwith 12 year-olds.threeof the eight (Norma. Jeffreyand Juangave similararguments it first by the interviewer." this However.she did not seem to be sureof it. so since angleb andangle a bothequalangle c. As David said.they realized what was expected and how to give an argument. equalangles"with saw/ladder.Murielle. Andy and David both gave clear and careful explanations-basically that angle a = angle c by a ladder and angleb = angle c by a saw.then in informalproofs chainingarguments thatthe oppositeangles of a parallelogram equal andlaterin proofs for the angle are sum of a triangleand the exteriorangle of a triangle. Otherstudentseventuallydid make this distinction. However.

. Murielle explained that the angle sum for squares and rectangles equals360?because"4x 90? = 360?" andthenclaimedthatthe anglesin a "sumto 360?"because"itis like a slantyrectangle.94 "does the triangle equal 180??" even after the interviewerhad guided her of explanation this. John. They easily showed the angle sum interrelationships via a family tree. Norma exitedfrom Module2 showingthatshe was beginningto realizethat"explaining why"was what was expectedin the interviews. However. they both gave "saw" as a reason when questionedby the interviewer.Andy.Luce. graderswho were studentsin highly procedure-oriented algebracourses. Normawas puzzledabouthow the two triangleswhich looked so differentand unequalcould both have an angle sum of 180?. Perhaps she was thinkingabout the areas of these trianglesratherthan their angle sums. Later when througha saw-ladder the angle sum of a quad the interviewer explainedwhy is equalto 360?. Nevertheless." She then divideda quad into two triangles to explain anotherway. b. = I IS I oF Xs SA oF quads and pentagons. since in her view was "explaining" not an expectationin school mathematics. As will be discussed a similar belief seemed to affect the performanceon the modules of ninth later. . She readthe card"Anglesum for a triangle= 180?" and immediatelyadded "because. andJeffrey knew the angle sum for a trianglefrom school. The studentstended to leave out partsof the deductiveargument.rectangles)equaled360o. and so she concluded that the sum is 360?. . a and d) are colored the same. so they were asked to verify it by a new approach(i.e." She had to be helped throughthe proof but the the expectationto explain why was clear to her.g. The other seven studentsshowed varying degrees of progress towardlevel 2 thinkingrelativeto angle sums. A =A l o* There were some interestingvariationsin how differentstudentsfound these angle sums. All studentsexcept Norma establishedby informaldeductivearguments angle sum for the [sr 4."Next she madea parallelogram tiling using quads and observedthatthattherewere four colors of angles arounda point. not by measuringbut by a deductiveargument).notingthat"theangle sum for all quadsso far (squares. JuanandMuriellediscoveredthe angle sum for triangles by coloring in angles in a triangulargrid and verifying equal angles (same color) by saws/ladders.. Luce proceededinductively. Finally she explained this by subdivisionof the quadinto two triangles. Throughout previous sessions Norma had strongly resisted attempts to have her explain. David. and c) are the same as those inside the triangleand theirsum equals 180?-but neglected to be precise about why certain d angles (e. Murielleand David summarizedthatthe colored top angles (a..

"the measurements were off a bit.. The intent of this module was to examine furtherthe students' thinking--inparticular. Luce.he speculated"pentagons 360?.. Five studentsspent from 1-1/2 to 3 sessions on it. The students (including Norma) quickly discovered that the measureof an exterior angle of a triangleequals the sum of the measuresof the remoteinteriorangles. thatis double Reasoninginductively.and even trapezoidsand any quadrilateral. the sixth graders showed progress toward level 2 by following and/or giving informal deductive arguments about angle sums for polygons. did only the initial assessmentpartof Module 3. while otherswere guidedthrough an explanation. "thereare four rows of six in the rectangle. have a sum of 720?. . all had higher than level 0 understandingof area as "covering space" and interpreteda certain area as how many squarescould cover the shape.thentakehalf its area. you got to figure out what to multiply first.g.two (Murielleand Juan)did not do the modulebecause they spent the 8 sessions on Modules 1 and 2. who was initiallyweddedto experimentation measuring show the angle sum of to by a triangle... The interviewer's discussion with David about a measuringapproachthat leads to discoveries (level 1) and a deductive approach(level 2) seemed very appropriate here for him. thus beginning to to build a networkof theorems.Of these any six. Luce noted: "Theytaughtme like that . use a rule .so multiply." This rote learningof a rule is an instanceof reductionof level.at level 1 (discoveringarea rules) and level 2 (explaining area rules and logically interrelatingthem)--in a context different from that of angle measurement."obtainingsums of 543? and 535?! He then explained by subdividinginto 3 triangles and reconciled the discrepancybetween the 540? and his two measurementssaying. None knew a rule for righttriangles." When questionedabouthis preferencein approach.now voted for the subdivisionexplanation. Most of these studentshad no troubleshowing how this new fact was interrelated previous ideas by constructinga family tree. Of the eight students. usually after measuringangles in two examples."). Some studentsdevelopeda proofon theirown..David. triangle. The four otherstudents explainedwhy the rule workedby specific examples (e. was also seen by their on performance the activityon the exteriorangle of a triangle.. developing area rules for rectangles." David measuredangles in two pentagons"tocheck. One otherstudent. parallelograms. .which was presented as an assessment task in a session after completion of Activity 6. right triangles. It seemed to help him begin to realize the role of the deductive method and reinforced his of understanding the new expectationto explainthingscarefully. even discoveringwhereto place the auxilaryline. They all knew the area rule for rectangle. Module 3.and appliedit to find how many squareinches of gold were needed to cover the top of a jewelry box (Activity 2). although limited for some students. Progress.although Jeffrey and Andy spontaneouslyformulateda methodwhen given a righttriangle: put two trianglestogetherto makea rectangle. Two (Normaand Luce) could not explain why the area rule worked. As indicated above.95 David was asked aboutwhat comes next afterthe angle sum for quad= 360?.

and Norma developed proceduresfor finding areas of shapes. For a parallelogram.. This was not reallydeductivelevel 2 thinking / f \ sides [i. object.cut off the triangleat one end. . all this work involved only level 1 thinking--mainly. move it to otherend." David gave similar propertieswhen questioned.not the class of rectangular Althoughfocused on a specific three-dimensional between solids. which was designed to assess understandingof area and area rules.. faces] . solving of problemsusing properties shapes. friend.. "measure the bottomand how far up. theirthinkingindicatesthatthey were able to identifyrelationships of solid figures (level 1). "Makea rectanglearoundit and subtract off two triangles. augmented scriptwith more detailedexplanations askedthemto give carefularguments. After finding the areas of two pairs of cutout congruent right triangles. some unexpectedlevel 1 thinkingaboutpropertiesof solids was evidenced. Two students(Norma.e."For a parallelogram..The differencein progressis probablynot due to differencesin the abilities of these studentsbut ratherto differentexpectationsset by the interviewer and the who..Norma. When asked to describe the box and if it had any properties. Jeffrey.96 In Activity 2. whereas Andy and David progressedeven furtherby being guided to give careful deductive arguments to establish area rules for right triangle and parallelogram..Jeffrey.David) treatedthe jewelry box much like they did the cutout in quadrilaterals Module 1 and noted properties. put them togetherand then find area of the two squares [or rectangles]." Laterhe formulatedanotherapproach. However."Johnfound fourmethodsfor trapezoids: a and (1) make a parallelogram subtract triangle and (2) make a parallelogram adda triangle (3) make two trianglesanda rectangle (4) make two triangles.. Jeffrey said." Jeffrey and John came up with imaginativesolutions to problems of finding areas. parts As described below. to report these methods "over a telephone to a . Studentswere asked put them together to make a rectangle. Norma. for Andy and David. opposite sides are congruent . Aided by the instruction. thenmultiply. then divideby two. John said "takeit and cut off two trianglesat ends. Norma formulateda method: take two congruentright triangles. and John made progress in level 1 on area. they have the same area . John.pointingto partsof the box. responded: "Four these [top edges] are parallel.

deductively." respectively. as Andy andDavid made level 1 discoveriesof areaprocedures did the students above. David gave the following argumentwhen asked why 2 right triangles by give a rectangle. But they made inroadsinto level 2 whenjustifying arearules that they had discovered. to characterize rI^li .This tree by Jeffrey shows how he / used a triangleand a rectangleto find the areaof R o any parallelogram. He explained that ABCD mustbe a rectangle showingall the angles are right angles. The argumentbegan ^ with the observationthat angle A and angle C B are right angles because of the right triangles. angle 4 angle 4 is 60? and they make 90?. a right angle." which he summarized a family tree."without explainingwhy the two trianglesmust make a rectangle. Since the two triangles are the same.97 becausethese studentsdid not explainwhy certainrulesmustbe true. angle 2 is 30? so using specific valuesfor anglesto explain. The proof Andy gave O x\ AREA o [ // bx lA+ AKEA oF the kind of explanation expected. The interviewerpressed David about why angle 2 and angle 4 form a right angle. Their trees seemed to be A osl IARE OF a visual format for summarizing a LrC:? E simply procedure. so angle 2 + angle 1 = 90?. The relationship was but not generalized inductively here." Here he was D C is the same as angle 1. This lack of deductive thinking also characterized the family trees / | created by these students to show how area rules are related. he did need some guidance to explain all the details. he first said. their explanations. At first Andy gave a similarargument by he couldnot explainwhy angle2 + angle4 made90?. He explainedthat in a righttriangle"thetwo angles equal 90? because 180?minus 90? leaves 90?. Andy and David seemed to have made considerable pro- {b ?b 3 . This was an attemptby the ocF^ interviewer to make the students more aware of to 90? in a right triangle. The interviewer discussed these careful argumentswith Andy and David. 3 Now to get angle B and angle D to be right 2 angles." He reasonedthat the acuteanglesadd 4 suf orA was correct. "Well. who used the words "clinchit" and "be technical. and likewise for angle B.They observed thattwo cutoutcongruentrighttrianglesform a rectangleand said the arearulewas "length x width divided by two. At the followingsession Andy said that he had figured it out "while eating dinner. so angle 2 + angle 4 = 90?.

Moreexperiencein giving careful("technical") and discussingthe quality of theirexplanationswould no doubthave helped these two students to give careful informal argumentsmore fluently and consistently. They were quiteverbalandtendedto expressthemselvesconfidently. argumentsmore independently and with more details.althoughmost neededto fill in or review some conceptsat level 0.98 explanations gress towardlevel 2.the GroupIII studentsexhibitedevidence of level 1 thinkingfrom the outset. In summary.e. sureof the power of theirarguments. they did not yet clearly see the need for careful deductive explanations. therebyenablingthemto reachlevel 2.Thatis. They also needed to become more fluent with terminologyused at level 1 in describing towardlevel 2 by following shapesin termsof properties. althoughthey gave simple deductive proofs. inductive approach) and only to graduallydid some acquirea sensitivityto a deductiveapproach geometry(level studentsdid not yet seem 2). . They seemed more reflective about the problems they were doing and also about their own thinking. Even when they followed/gavedeductiveexplanations. They tended to equate "proof" with generalization by examples (i.Most studentsprogressed while a few progressedfartherandbeganto give andthen summarizing arguments..

one of student(Madeline)was in a three-semester elementaryalgebrasequence.all other students were enrolled in a regular two-semester elementary algebra sequence. learning difficulties. Pat as and Barth)were enrolled in a ninth gradefundamentals mathematicsclass. When reviewing the performanceof the ninth grade subjects.the Project staff assigned the ninth gradesubjectsto three .then in subsequentsections results in terms of specific behaviorsof individualstudentsarediscussed. Advanced 1. 2 and3. Subjects Subjects for the clinical interviews were selected to reflect the diversity of studentsin New York Citypublicschools. Therewere 16 ninth graders--5boys and 11 girls. language. Results: An Overview As a resultof the analysisof the videotapesandin a mannersimilarto thatused for the sixth graders. In additionto discussingthe level of betweenlevel of thinkingand thinkingof ninthgraders. The codes used in this table to describe the quality of a student'sresponse at a particular level are the same as those used previously in Table 2.CHAPTER 6 CLINICAL STUDY: INTERVIEWS WITH NINTH GRADE SUBJECTS Results of the interviews with ninth grade subjects are reportedbelow. Table 3 also show the amountof work completedby each studenton the Project's instructional modulesin approximately to eight hoursof clinical interviews.a student's level of thinkingwas determined mainlyby his/her to responsesto assessmenttasksin Modules1.discussionsof relationships school achievement. Entriesin Table 4 characterize a general way each in student's level of thinkingon key activities. one shouldkeep in mind thatthereare severalinformalgeometryunits in the New York City Mathematics Curriculum grades7 and 8 and presumablythese for in subjectshave had some instruction geometrythroughthese curriculum units. six As statedearlier. and thinking processes arepresented. in particular questionsin key activities in these modules. 13 were minoritystudents (10 Blacks. Three students(Pete. learning style. The 16 were enrolled in two public secondaryschools--onejuniorhigh school andone high school.both raciallyandin termsof achievement level. First the subjects are described. Form L which were administered part of city-wide testing in late Spring. 1 Hispanic and 2 Orientals). The Project's modules were designed primarily for work with students of average or above average achievement. Table 3 presentsthe readingand mathematics achievementscores for each studentbased on the student's on performance the Metropolitan Achievement Tests.

Tests. completed entire was done.Advanced Form 1.100 Table 3 Achievement Test Scores and Modules Completed by Ninth Graders Test Scores PRArtin \ athPmitirY e Modules 1 2 3 Ext Alice Carol Barbie Barth Kathy Samantha Beth Doreen Madeline Linda Mau Ling Elena Jorge Pete Pat 81 79 79 70 68 67 66 65 57 56 56 56 55 55 49 45 47 47 43 34 45 46 45 28 37 47 45 42 40 33 32 30 x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x note: Testscoreson Metropolitan Achievement L. / meansthatthemodule partially . X indicates a student that the module.

Properties of Quadrilaterals. four sides. and Pat had similar difficulties with language. althoughPatargued correctly (fromher incorrectdefinitionof parallelogram)thata rectangle cannot go in the parallelogram because "ithas rightangles and parallelograms don't. . aboutthe sameas has a squarebut longer." He had a similarcommentaboutthe word "parallel."Consequently. Neitherof the studentsfully graspedsubclassrelationships. They seldom analyzedshapes in termsof their partsor theirproperties." pile Throughout this activity on subclass relations. never referringto nor basinghis arguments the properties which on.they are shortandsmall. They had difficulty a to attributing property a groupof shapes--sometimes checkinga propertyfor only one or two shapes in the group. rightangle. Pete also needed many examples before he caught on to the initial sort of polygons. Pete commented about the word "rectangle" (after instructionwas given)."Pete had difficulty learning andremembering new ideas andcontinuallyconfused"rectangle" "right and angle. oppositesides. throughall the Instructional . Pat describeda squareas "looks fat.angle. Because of Pat'slack of clarityon the concept of "side. The word "side"proved to be a major stumbling block for her." She sortedthe shapes into threepiles--rectangle. square-mainly on the basis of "pointyness. V andVI is presented below.angle measurement." Not until the fourthor fifth interviewsession did Pete begin to use new words such as parallelogram rectangleanduse themcorrectly. Her concept of "side" of a shape was a vertical segment.) of the modules."and a parallelogram "slantedon sides. . "Oh." She describeda rectangleas: "longer thana square. Because of theirlack of familiarity with basic geometric concepts and language. they were guided Branches(parallel. but later carefully explainedthathe had sortedthemby the numberof sides.straightall the way. whose achievement scores were at least one year below gradelevel) was to a large degree at level 0 as they did the activities in Module 1. opposite angles. sides are not longer. In the quadrilateral sort. These two students' initialdescriptions squareandrectanglewere incomplete of and poorly stated. congruent. Identifyingshapes in differentorientationsor in complex was configurations (photograph) a problemfor these students. trapezoidand otherquadswere placed ratherrandomlyin her threepiles. A detailedanalysisof the responsesand level of thinkingof the subjectsin GroupIV. Group IV The thinkingof the two studentsin this group(PatandPete. looks like boxes. Both studentsneededmuch guidanceand prompting in Activity 3. This failureto test all given examples in a group of suggestsa lack of level 1 thinkingaboutproperties a class of figures.that'sa new word.parallelogram. a rectangleis not as: slanted. Pete argued from a visual perspective.101 groups on the basis of their performanceson key activities in the modules."she had considerabledifficulty doing the first sort of polygons.

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1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2p 1- 12 0 1 0-1 0-1 0-0-1 lg 1 1 0-1 1 0-1 Ig 1 ig lg g 01 lg 1 Ip 0- 10 1 lg 1 1 1 1 1-2 1 1 1 1-2 1-2 0- 1 1 1 1-2 Ip 0-1 :1 12 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 2 Key: O* g p s weak response responded with guidance responded after a prompt responded spontaneously . Pentagon Exterior Angle Concept of Area Area: Rectangle Area: Right Triangle Area: Parall-logram Areal: Area: Trapezoid Area: Midline Rule 0 0 1 : 1-2p 2 1-2 1-2 lp Ip 1-2 1-2 1-2 Ig 0 1 0 1 1-2 0 1 1-2p 1-2 l-2p 1-2 0 0-1 0 1 0-1 0-1 1 1 1-2g 1-2p 2 1 1 1-2 1-2 2 1 1- 1-2p .Angle Measurement Saw/Ladder Proofs via Saw/Ladder Angle Sum: Triangle Angle Sum: Quad.

. it looks like) on Activities 4 (Uncover Shapes). she became quite proficientat estimatingthe size of angles in termsof cut-outwedges.some of which were correct(andhe commented"luckyguess"). againat level 0. Pete beganto use some of the new geometryvocabularycorrectly andconsistentlyandwas able to explainnot only the rulefor findingthe areaof any trianglebut also why the rule works.After a numberof examples. His approach to finding areas of shapes was always visual and physical. 6 (Kites) which were intended to assess level 1 and 2 thinking. she then chose and to measureangles with a protractor after some confusion did reasonablywell with a little guidance. Forexample. In the last two sessions. Little school experiencewith geometrycoupledwith languageand memory difficulties resulted for the most part in level 0 performance. strategyadopted frequentlysaid "Idon'tknow. especially Pat. Neither studentunderstoodthe directionalnatureof the "is a special" a arrowin the task of arranging tree with the words "square.e. The above characterization these two ninthgradestudentsindicatesthe same of as glaringdeficienciesin theirgeometrybackground was noted in the GroupI sixth gradestudents. just guessing"and by both studentswas "guess"--Pat Pete commented"Alwaystake a guess.a rectanglecould not go in the pile parallelogram "unlessyou cut it. they utilized a strategy of random guessing which they evidently felt had worked for them before.both of these studentsresponded incorrectlyor at level 0 (i.the Projectassigned seven ninth .104 were listed on the table in frontof him." Pete was also able to explain some arearules reasonablywell using physical models."Youcould cut--takeoff triangleandput it on--won'tchange. Difficulties with vocabularypreventedPete from giving clear explanations."However. Interestingly. take a triangleandadd it to it. their guessing than tendedto be random--without thought--rather educatedguessing." Similar to the GroupI sixth grade students.progresswas limited. and needed instruction on angles and angle measurement. the shapesalso continuedto be a problemfor them."and "quadriboth said it didn'tmatterwhich way the arrowwas placed.he showed considerableinsight in solving problems involving finding the area of irregular shapes (rectangles with pieces cut out) and the surface area of an open box." "kite. Despite some initial confusion about perimeterand area and some random guessing of answers.. As he explained. Group V As a result of the analysis of the videotapes. Pat did some initial work in Module2.. While these students made some progress filling in level 1 as a result of instruction and experiencewith the activities. seldom realized that they could figure things out in mathematicsby thinking about them--rather. These students. Orientation of lateral". it might be right. thus exhibiting some level 1-2 behaviorson areatasks. 5 (Minimum Properties). Pete did four of the activitiesin Module 3 on area.

on the other hand."JorgeandBeth. diagonal. a parallelogram). Madeline. The students." Jorge..for the most part. in giving descriptionsof figurestendedto improveas they workedthroughthe first . 2 and 3 of the studentsin this groupare analyzedbelow. readily identified shapes such as and rectangles. were unable to distinguishright angles from obtuse and acute angles. Elena and Jorge).squares.. "No. and despiteextensive instruction despitehavinga cut-outmodel for checkingto see if an angle was a rightangle. the studentscited the property "4 sides with two equal longer sides and two equal shortersides. Barthcalled it "adiamond" Doreensaid it was "aslantedrectangle. Madelinedescribeda rightangle as an angle with "straight sides" and is "over30? up to 90?. Table 4 provides a characterization a in generalway of the level of thinkingon key activitiesof each studentin this group. Barbie."Right angles were describedas in comers"by Elena.and trianglesin photographs othercomplex configurations. continuedto have greatdifficulty in identifyingright angles. The geometriclanguageof all seven subjectsin this groupwas richerand more precise than that of GroupIV studentsalthough. Jorge and Madelineselected 4 sticks of the same length." Parallel lines were described by all the subjects as "lines that never meet. Theiruse of precise vocabulary initiallyit tendedto be informaland non-standard. Madelinequickly realizedher figure was a squareand remadethe figure with differentsticks. parallel." After giving the descriptionof a rectangle.Beth was able to identify right angles correctly although she frequently called them "righttriangles. Jorgeand Beth still thoughtthe figure was a and rectangle." Otherssaid. Module 1.subjectswere asked to constructa rectanglefrom a set of D-stix. Barth. or to identify right angles in different orientations. althoughDoreen and Elena said it was "almost like a square.105 grade subjects to Group V (Barbie. ) and needed only a brief review.opposite sides. Doreen. InitiallyElenaandBeth used the word "straight" lieu of the word "parallel.. In describinga rectangle." Othersdescribedrightanglesas "90?.for a rectanglethe sides have to be straight. congruent. When the D-stix constructionof a rectanglemade by each subjectwas alteredslightly by the interviewerso that it became a figure with non-rightangles (i. although saying that right angles contained90?.as noted above. thus suggestinga visual perception problem.e. Beth." Only Barbie indicatedthe need for rightangles. The responsesto the activitiesin Modules1. This difficulty persisted throughoutthe eight interview sessions.and Doreen. Also mentionedby some studentsin this groupwere parallelograms trapezoids." Doreenthoughtthe lines also hadto be equalin length.Barbiealso spoke of "right" "square angles and "left"angles. After instruction. and Some students had orientation difficulties and needed to turn a figure before all of decidingon its shape. Most of the students recognized or were familiar with basic geometry vocabulary(angle. Performancesof these seven students were markedlydifferent from the studentsin GroupIV althoughat times some of the studentsin this groupexhibited level 0 thinking to justify a response.

When a new propertywas noted. yeah. you could not." Jorgedid the sorthesitantlyandexplainedhis sort as "Iput sets of similar figures in each group"and "theshapes that are left over are not similar.students'priorlearninginfluencedtheir answersto the questions:Could a squarebe placed in the rectanglepile? Why or Why not? Madeline. Barth and Elena gave negative replies with Elena adding.he decided "Yes." On the selection sheets. Justbased on these properties could put a squarein the rectanglepile." In responseto the questions.particularly concerningthe parallelismof the sides. all. all parallelograms.Can a rectanglebe placed in the squarepile? Why or why not?. some of the shapes in his sets were similar(in the technicalsense of the word) and some were not. six of the seven subjects did a In doing the quadrilateral sort into piles of "rectangles. After discussionsbased on listed in frontof them. such as "opposite angles are equal" (in a parallelogram)." Actually. most respondedquickly and correctlyfor squaresand rectangles. By now the studentsrecognizedwhatwas expectedand so theiranswersto successivequestionsrelatingto placinga squareor a rectanglein the parallelogrampile. Jorge gave no reply and afterhe of was guidedto check out each of the properties a rectangleas being applicableto a square. Fluent studentresponses indicatedthat they were analyzingfigures in terms of their componentsand relationshipsbetween compoof nents and establishingproperties a class of figures (i. "All rectangles are long. were carefully given--justifying their answers by citing the propertiesof the figures." When asked: Are these properties true for all parallelograms or just these parallelograms?..e.these four studentsagreedthatthey using only the properties could think of a squareas a "special"rectangle.you could say that aboutthe squareand rectanglepiles also. all studentsjustified theirnegative replies by citing a property(e. most studentsspontaneouslyreferredto propertiesin informallyjustifying their classification of figures. that's what they taught me. Yes. When the studentswere asked to list the propertiesof the shapes in each pile. .106 module." and the others indicatinga need for two longer and two shortersides.. "allthe sides arenot even"). In Activity 3-4 (InclusionRelations). Doreen and Barbie said spontaneously:"Oh. Beth and Barbie then separatingthe "others" pile into "trapezoid" "miscellaneous.the students in this group were very thoughtfuland Madeline's answer was typical: "Hm. parallelograms. . sort (Activity 3).g.squares. Doreen. Promptswere needed to obtain all the propertiesof a parallelogramand trapezoid.perhapsthey beganto realizethatthis is whatwas expectedof them. necessaryproperties a of thusexhibitinglevel 1 thinking. . but if you had the propertyof one longer andone shorterside... . conceptwere establishedempirically).. with systematic and Madeline.others"." Beth and Barbie gave affirmativereplies with Barbie you saying: "Letme look at the properties.. Beth tendedto interchange idea of "havingone more and "missing a property"as she explained why a figure was not in a property" .

it must have four angles.but all chose to leave it in theirlist of necessarydescriptors a square.. In additionto Jorge's descriptors. .and two pairsof adjacentsides areequal. in this module providedan opportunity to see if students described properties of a class of figures and if they saw and interrelationships amongfigures(level 1). The final assessmentactivity. the studentsdrew figures using the differentproperties. two pairs of equal sides. opposite sides are parallel). They also removed "four angles"since "if it has four sides." as Exceptfor Jorge. The subjectsenjoyedthe two activitiesin UncoveringShapes(Activities3-6. she said: "A rectangleis not a parallelogram it is missing a property--ithas four right angles.e.Kites.all the studentsin the Minimum Propertiesactivity (Activity 3-8) for a square immediately doing removed"oppositesides are equal"and "oppositeangles are equal"as unnecessary. As seen in the above studentresponsesto the tasks in the Minimum Propertiesactivity.107 because particular pile.two sides equal (pointing)and othertwo sides equal (pointing). "Oh.such as "hasat least one rightangle.it is diamondshape. but selecting necessary descriptors for a parallelogram. She talked vaguely about propertiesbut seemed to judge on a "looks like" basis and needed guidanceto completeher explanation." Most of the students were uncertainabout the necessity of the descriptor"oppositesides are parallel. it has four points. Initially Madeline and Beth describeda kite as "diamond shapewith fourpoints. Madelinesaid." Theirgeneralfeeling was thatperhapsit was not necessary. four sides.Beth and Barbie thought that "oppositesides are equal" and "oppositeangles are equal"were necessary. For example." She thenproceededto changethe squareto the kite pile." Beth's difficulty in mixing up these ideas was not fully resolvedandpersistedin lateractivities. Jorgewas unresponsive neededto be guided to look at the specific propertiesof a kite.who consideredall properties necessary.and then decided thattheir additionalpropertieswere unnecessary." Madelineplaced the squarein the non-kitepile explainingthat "it doesn'tlook diamondshape"(level 0). and then focused on the diagonals.it has foursides. Beth put the squareon the kite pile but had difficultyverbalizingwhy.Elenaand Barbiedescribedthe kite as having four sides. Jorgeneeded guidanceand had to be continually reminded to consider the clues sequentially and not the individually. thusmakingher decision on the basis of properties(level 1). Doreen. Beth had difficultyconceptualizing meaningof "atleast"on clue cards. there is evidence of some level 2 behaviors. 7) via clues and all based their reasoningon propertiesof shapes (level 1) although therewas an occasional"itlooks like"at the beginning. When askedto verify theirselections. They reasoned that the descriptors"all sides are equal"and "all angles are right angles"covered the opposite sides and opposite angles. Jorge was the only one who initially selected the minimumnumber of necessaryproperties(i. for In doing the same activity. The interviewerrotated the square45?.

Madelinesaid..Referringto the at diagram the right..right and obtuse angles. arrows. at right angles." Module 2.. the frame the adjacentsides areequal.recognizingthatthe size of the raysformingthe angles did not affect angle its measure." Exceptfor Jorge. a kite is a special I properties of the rest of the kites" and finally she placed the arrows correctly. Barth mutteredsomething about a "left angle"but would not elaborate. were troubleRight angles in differentorientations some to some students. referringto the diagonals. Some turnedthe angle or the page to look at it. Jorge placed arrows 1 and 2. Jorge'sinabilityto identify a right angle consistentlypersisted even aftercompletingthe Instructional Branchon Angle Measurement. a square is a special type of kite because it has the Ix .the studentswere quite good at estimatingthe size of acute. Madeline." Barbie said. such as saws/ladders and angle sums of polygons (level 1) and to (level 2).. Elenamade the same observation added"if the otherdiagonalis and drawn. Doreen..108 Doreennoticedthatone diagonalcut it into two congruent triangleswhen she folded the paperkite.. When asked if he could put K33 iQE anotherarrowto show a relationof squareandkite. as shown in the adjacent diagram.squareis a specialquad--right anglesandall sides equal. he arrow 3. When askedto show the interrelationships among kites. no .spoke of "theframe of the kite"and said they must cross at a T.Doreen chose not to add arrow3 showing she was still uncertainabout the relationship.. Elena correctlyplaced and Beth placed arrows 1 and 2 correctly.the students had school experience in learning about and measuringangles in the seventh/eighth grades.. However. Madeline initially placed arrow3 in reverseposition. . The responses of the seven students in this group to Module 2 activities provide further insights into their capacity to discover properties of figures. Barbie revised her arrowsmany times saying to herself: "Kiteis a special quad.reversed arrow 3 several times." Barbie'sexplanationshows that she was thinkingof propertiesof a class of figures(level 1). All were able to identifythe larger of a pair.the trianglesare not congruent. "a squareis a non-kitebecause it does not have propertiesof all otherkites. with Barbie remarking:"the length of the sides is not important."Itcouldbe fits. follow/give informaldeductivearguments As ninth graders."Barbie. Barbie seemed to have a visual image of a kite and the squaredid not match that of image althoughthe squaredid have "theproperties the rest of the kites. a squareis a special kind of kite. and squaresusing "is a special" quadrilaterals. Beth." She checked out her kite properties againstthe square: "Ithas four sides." She then said somewhattentatively. still showing uncertainty.arrow3 was confusing to Elena and she did not know how to place it.. "x is not an angle type of square .

saws and ladders and sets of congruentangles. they vaguely remembered having learneda rule aboutthe angle sum for a triangle. and Five problemsin Activity 4 required studentsto show thatparticular angles in a grid were congruentusing saw/ladderprinciples and the culminatingassessment task was equivalent to giving an informal proof of "opposite angles of a are parallelogram congruent. rectangles. rather. None of the studentscould remember explain why this rule was true.as Dina van Hiele-Geldofdescribedit. Whenaskedwhy they did that. Jorge. . Elena) said they were "the same". then parallellines." This had misconceptionapparently arisenfromher experiencein measuringangles with a protractor. "if parallellines.. Figure-ground problemsand orientation evident. When considering the statements." When the interviewerexpressed the relationshipsin "if-then" language. was to see if studentscould give or follow informaldeductivearguments(level 2). Students needed varying amounts of experiencewith saws and laddersin differentpositions before feeling comfortable with them. saw and ladder.109 because the right side of the angle always has to be flat [horizontal]." several students (Jorge. to distinguish twins"(statement its converse). Madelineand Barbie problemswere particularly ladders.the in studentswere asked to estimate and record the measuresof the three angles of a triangle and then to check their estimates with the transparent angle overlays (or with a protractor). When the otherswere askedaboutthe angle sum. All studentscompletedproblem 1 (involving 1 ladder)and problem2 (involving 1 saw) correctly. done over two sessions. From this they learnedto look for and trace other configurationsin the grids.they said thatthey remembered doing thatin school.they tended to use a proceduralapproachand said. in particular. where she had been cautioned "to place the protractor on the horizontalray. ) and students had considerable difficulty finding . "well. . right triangles and trianglesand seeing the associatedgrids. then congruentangles"and "if congruentangles. the students were asked to describe what was done. first by parallel lines. Afterexplorationof two methodsfor constructing both a saw and a ladder(i. or After tiling with squares."The purposeof this activity. None of the studentsin this group spontaneouslyused "if-then"language (level 2). Doreen. . second by congruent angles). The next threeproblemscould have been done in several ways (2 appropriateladders/saws and determiningwhat strategy to use.all the students agreed with the statements. you startedwith parallellines here and ended with congruentangles" and "the other was the reverse. the studentsrecognized that their tilings and the grids were formed by two or three sets of parallel lines. startwith congruentangles and end with parallel lines." In orderto determinetheirfamiliaritywith angle relationships a triangle. showing an betweenthe "Siamese inability. parallelograms. Beth and Barbie spontaneouslyfound the sum of their angles.e.

he always used the fact that the angle sum was 180? in solving the numericalproblemsin the activity.he idea in mind. argument to follow and then summarize interviewer's Activity 5 was designedto have the studentsdiscover why the angle sum of a triangle is 180?. several Project staff members(in an effort to gain insight into his thinking)discussed these angle sum ideas with him but these ideas were not meaningfulto him." When askedwhich angles were equal. He said he "justhad a the apparently informal feeling thatthe angle sum for some trianglewas not 180?"." would always be truein every triangle.On the conceptfor this studentwho thoughtof mathematics an final assessmenttask in this activity. he replied. Elena and Beth also needed considerable guidance in planning and finding an appropriatestrategy. To justify their of conclusionof congruent angles. Elena said it would work"on anothergridbut Jorgerefusedto generalize.Jorge and the otherstudentseitherrepeatedtheirstatementsor said "A = X = B. AlthoughJorge and Elenacorrectlyexplainedthe coloringof theirangles on the gridand explainedthat the sum of the threeangles thatformeda straightangle were "thesame as the three they both were unconvincedthatthis angle sum relationship angles in the triangle. Jorge. This help was given."Jorgepersistedin his viewpointthroughout the remaininginterviews.confidedthat she neededextrahelp with saws and laddersas she did not fully graspthe ideas. although to Beth this was a struggle. Beth. It became clear that solving problemsby reasoningand finding a strategywas a new solely as memorization. The previous activities had given the students considerable experience in identifyingcongruentangles via saws/ladders.110 the initially insistedon tracingin many possible ladders(saws) in the grid--making felt so complex that they became confused. the other students were able to give parts of the or the argument. less said "probably or more"but did not seem to have any particular Interestingly.studentsgave an informalstatement the transitive answer is typical: "AngleA = angle X by ladderand angle B = property--Jorge's angle X by saw so they are all equal. when asked why he could do that. deductive argumenthe had given was not convincing to him.the studentswere more successfulin identifying angles in congruentangles via saws/laddersand tendedto name the two particular their conclusions but still needed occasionalpromptingin their argumentsto help and themkeep theirideas in focus. After one interviewsession. Afterrepeatingthe activity on at least two different triangular grids and finding the same results. All the studentswere able to follow arguments alternativesolutions suggestedby the interviewerand also to repeator summarize the interviewer's arguments. The remaining studentsgave initial argumentssimilarto those given by Jorge and Elena but then . Since the interviewer suspectedthathe mightbe thinking about spherical geometry or non-Euclidean geometry. only Jorge was able to give independently informal deductive argument to show that both pairs of opposite angles in a parallelogramare congruent." During the second session on this activity. a very serious student. "Theangle sum is 180 in this triangle. When questioned "probably on whetherhe thoughtthe angle sum for a trianglewas more or less than 180?. They apparently the need to diagram "see"all the saws and laddersbefore looking for a strategythat would help them relate a particular pair of angles.

Beth. or dividing into two triangles)by all students. Discussion broadenedto consider the possibility of having family trees in otherareas of mathematics. Barbieand Doreen immediatelyassembledtheirfamily trees correctlyand explainedthem well. All the studentsagreedtheremustbe some beginningpoint in an ancestraltree. "Perhaps that guidanceto find the fallacy in the argument the angle sum of a quadis 720? by dividing it into four triangles. tiling.Beth and Elenaneededmore guidanceto completethe task successfully. all were able to follow and then the summarize explanation. the interviewer asked if saw and ladder have ancestors. be right .the approachof Jorge. for this modulewas done by four studentsin this group." The students quickly suggested and explained why the angle sum for a square/rectangle was 360? (four right angles). Except for Elena. In finding the ancestorsto the angle sum for a triangle. The fimalassessmenttask. All studentsseemed interested in the-family tree approach to showing interrelationships. Jorge and Beth proposedparallellines.111 they were convinced about the generality of their own arguments and readily showed it was trueon differentgridsandhence was truefor every triangle"because you could do the same thing. Madelinewas totally convinced with her discovery and explanation.Barthand Elena dividedit into a quadanda triangle. The angle sum for both a was discovered (throughcoloring angles on a parallelogramand a quadrilateral grid.stating "anyfigure with five sides. Madeline and Barbie immediately suggested parallel lines and angles as ancestors.) The students readily placed the card for the angle sum for a pentagonin theirfamily trees (Activity 6-3) correctly.studentsreviewedhow they found the angle sum. the angle sum is 540?.the exteriorangle of a triangle(Activity7-3).obtainingthe same sum (360 + 180). While informally discussing the idea of family trees with some of the students. you do not have to measure. when confronted with the possibility of dividing the quad into four both could trianglesand gettingan angle sum of 720? insteadof 360? said." (Herewe see a movementfromlevel 1to level 2 thinking. . Madeline and Doreenwas to divide a pentagoninto threetrianglesobtainingan angle sum of 540?.but Madelinehad greater confidencein her conclusionwhen she measuredthe angles to find the sum thanby her informaldeductiveargument." All the other students needed In discoveringthe angle sum of a pentagon. Several studentsquickly proposedthat additionwas an ancestorto multiplication then countingand numberwould be and ancestorsto addition. Beth andBarbieinitiallysuggested720? for the angle sum with Barbie dividing a pentagoninto two quads (360 + 360). . depends on the method you use. In this activitystudentswere faced . Madelineand Jorge took a bit more time and needed only one promptto assemble and explain the tree correctly.

. carefully explaining how and why. [to herself] Show these two angles put together equals this one. She seemed pleased with her accomplishment and said. she placed the auxiliary line correctly.112 with an open question of finding a possible relationship among the three angles indicated in the figure. Jorge and Barbie automatically found the sum of angles a. You don't have any faith in it without measuring? Right. you can't be sure unless you know the measurement of them. chose to measure the angles in each of three examples to see what they could discover.. after studying the figure. [And then Barbie. [She uses a D-stix with no particularstrategy in mind and no success. and then proceeded to give a complete informal deductive argument (level 2) with no assistance. on the other hand. Barbie. When asked if she had to measure it in the next triangle." At first Madeline thought all the angles were equal but up to . placed a D-stix correctly and proceeded to give a good argument justifying her statements with properties of parallel lines. Madeline gave no response except for a big sigh. her "no"reply was immediate and emphatic. a second problem involving the same principle but in a different orientation was presented. had the impression that all the angles equaled 60? and the following dialogue ensued between the interviewer (I) and the student (S): Does it matter what size the angles are? Yes. when given the second problem. She verbalized her "theory"and said it was "positively" true in all triangles."] I: S: I: S: . The four students. She hypothesized that this relationship was true and checked it out in the next two examples. without any assistance. could provide only part of the explanation without guidance and then placed the exterior angle of a triangle card incorrectly (coming from the angle sum of a quad) in his family tree. after her first set of measurements she noticed that angle c equaled the sum of angles a and b. When Madeline was given the second example." Jorge. "I think I understand" and was now convinced that one could reach conclusions about angles "without measuring. b and c. saws and ladders. "justto see what they add just curious. When asked for a logical argument. In order to determine if the student understood the deductive argument given. Several prompts were given such as: "Is any part of angle c related to angle a or angle b?" She provided several of the steps in the argument and then gave a review of the complete argument including the reasons for positioning the auxiliary line that was needed. Beth and Barbie needed more guidance than Madeline in developing their informal arguments for the first problem. congruent angles and concluded that "two opposite interior angles put together equals the exterior angle. Jorge. S: Oh. When asked to place her newly discovered principle in her family tree.] I: [prompting] Think about what we did in the previous problem. In the second problem. Beth gave a good argument with no assistance and then stated what principle she had established and explained how to place it in her family tree. she explained her correct placement well.

Each angle is 90?. As noted previously. she replied "you could add also 2L + 2W or count squares.113 I: S: I: S: I: S: Are you convincedthatthis is truein every triangle? Yes. Two commonmisunderstandings evidentin the responsesof Doreenand Elena: are (1) thinkingof areaas relatedto angle sums and (2) confusingareawith perimeter. Activity 2.Barth." Barbie's extensive prior experience in arriving at conclusions by measuring overshadowed any real sense of present accomplishment in using informal deductive argumentsto arrive at new conclusions. You don'thave to measure? [reluctantly]No.Elena)or part(Beth andBarbie)of this module.e. .begins with a problem of covering the top of a jewelry box with gold foil--one top is a square(5 x 5).only five of the studentsin this groupcompleted all (Doreen. "Thenumberof tiles represent size. When asked which was larger." When questioned why that was the formula."while Barthsaid." (Note the perimeter interference againin the responsesof Beth andBarbie. her work with family trees--showingand explaininginterrelationships among ideas--showed and quick comprehension clarity. and the otheris a rectangle(6 x 4). Beth and Barbieboth said the squarewas largerand Beth replied:"Thediameterof the squareis bigger"while Barbie'sdecision was made on the basis of physically overlaying the shapes. the intent of this module was to examine further the student'sthinking at level 1 (discovering area rules) and at level 2 (explainingarea rules and logically interrelating them) in a context differentfrom that of angle measurement. Module 3. Doreen. learninga principleby rote withoutunderstanding it). you don'thave to measure. "Itis length times width. This would be an instance of what Pierre van Hiele calls "reductionof level" (i. that's the formula for area.) All the studentshad learned the rule (length times width) for the area of a rectangleand could apply the rule correctlyin numericalexamples but none could explain why the rule works. so they should be the same. Wouldyou like to measurethese? [brightly] I definitelywould! Barbie happily measured and said: "just curious to see how much each angle measured. Because of the total time restrictionof six hours of clinical interviewsfor each subject.." Beth thoughtof the areaas "thewidth and length aroundit" and Barbiesaid. Barthand Elenaall replied"theyarethe same"andjustifiedtheirresponsesas follows: Doreen: Barth: Elena: [afterphysically overlayingthe shapes] One has a bigger width and the othera biggerlength. Doreen and Elena describedarea of a figure as the "space inside. However. The areasareequalbecausethey areboth20. designedto assess a student's conceptof area.

not reallya cube . Only one of the students(Barbie)knew the rule. Barbie also had some difficulty with the jewelry box problem. Barth immediately took a ruler." The interviewerrestatedthe problemand Barbie said.. The memorizedfacts relatingto perimeter. found the perimeterof the base of the box. "I'mtrying to recallsomething." The interviewer turned the box 90? on its base and asked the student to do the problemagain.you mean volume. Barbiequickly revisedher answerto "findamountof inches in length and amount of inches in width and then just multiply them. they had done the top of the box in the opening activity. multipliedto find the resultand then gave a clear explanation of why his procedure was correct. Her solution was to "findthe amountof squareinches in the first side and find the amountof squareinches in the second side. tiles. "Oh. Beth found the productof the length andheight. In one problem. thenmultipliedby 4 and said. Will a piece of string12 incheslong cover the side? Thatwould be too long. They usually rectangular could explain more than one way of solving the problems. Barth's solution was visually reinforced him when he saw thatthejewelry box was so constructed it could for that be laid out as a networkandhe could see the height andperimeter the base of the of box as the widthandlengthof a rectanglein the network. to Activity 4 was structured have studentsdiscoverthe areaof a righttriangle by finding a pattern. Whatwill cover it? Square inches . To solve the problemof covering the sides of a jewelry box. 60 inches. then just multiplythem.. the studentswere askedto findhow muchgold foil they wouldneed to coverthe sides of a jewelry box (6 x 4 x 3)." When the interviewer seemed a bit puzzled." The interviewer (I) asked the student (S) to reconsider the 4 x 3 side and the following dialogueensued: I: S: I: S: I: S: Whatis the areaof this side? Areais 12 inches..114 The students were all quite successful at solving problems which involved or figures in differentconfigurations with pieces cut out." She arrivedat the correctsolutionafterbeing given help similarto thatgiven to Beth..... square12. I: Whenwouldwe use the ideaof cubicinches? S: Whenyou fill the box.. . "4 x 18 is the area. measured the height of the box. square18... This time she found "4 x 12 is the area"and seeing it was not the same as before said.." The interviewer guidedher to thinklogically aboutthe problemwith questions such as: Whatis the areaof the firstside?the secondside? She did thesecalculations on paperand said. "It's60 cubic squareinches . areaandvolume were rather jumbledin Beth'sthinking.. Students .

they tendedto measure an adjacentside ratherthanthe height." Instructionwas given in the use of a L-squareto clarify and alleviate this difficulty. what would the areaof the righttrianglebe? S: 25 I: And if the area of a rectanglewas 100." Askedto reconsider statement... or possibly q. The patternwas easily found by most students with Doreen commenting:"Areaof a righttriangleis always one-half of its square or rectangle." The students were then asked to begin a family tree for area.e. she said tentatively: "Areaof triangleis b .. but you still need the height.puzzled by this response. When finding the areas of righttrianglesthe concept of perimetercontinuedto intrudefor several students (Beth.. And if the area of a rectanglewas p x q. Barbie and Elena).then measurethe side of the triangle. Elena. p I q) was a bit startlingconsideringshe was just successfullycompletingone year'sstudy of elementaryalgebra. AlthoughBarbie knew the rule for finding the area of a right triangle. thoughtand then her she the repeated same statement."Areaincludes the sides and what is inside but perimeteris what is outside." The interviewer. Initially several students (Doreen..115 were given four differentpairs of congruentrighttriangleswith which they formed squaresor rectangles. "Measure bottom. she also used the measureof an adjacentside as the height. Elena's explanationof her arrowbetween rectangleand righttrianglewas more procedural thanlogical: "Tofind this (righttriangle).multiplyand divide by the two." Beth also recognizedthe patternbut when she reachedthe general case in her chart where the area of the rectanglewas b x h. what would the area of the right trianglebe? probably. Beth's inability to handle the general case and her conception of taking half of somethingby literallycuttingthe symbolic expressionin half vertically (i. what would the area of the right trianglebe? S: 50 I: I: S: p. using a transparent grid overlay to find the areas. When Doreen explainedthe rule. Students were given practice in finding areas of right triangles using their newly discovered principle. Beth and Barbie)had difficulty measuringthe height of the triangle.. At one point Barbie was asked the differencebetween areaand perimeterand she replied. she said.pursuedthe following line of questioning: If we continuedthe chartand the area of a rectanglewas 50.. A fifth pair had the legs noted as b and h. For each pair.She was guidedto look at herpattern sheetandexplain . the studentsthen recordedin a chartthe length of the base and height of the triangleand of the rectangleand the areasof the rectangleand triangle."Beth explainedthe placementof her arrow(which was backwards):"A rectangleis half of whata righttriangleis.I have to find this (rectangle)first.

and then we did this.showingher inabilityto separate "Siamesetwins. When pressed to give a careful argumentto justify the parallel lines formedby placingthe two righttrianglestogether.she reversedher arrow. After her explanation. the concept of the height makinga right angle with the base was a bit elusive.then alternate-interior angles are congruent" the module tasks but they had only one brief experienceusing the converse. She easily developeda rulefor findingthe areaof any and triangle. She had some difficulty describingand finding the height." The interviewer "Supposeit measured 89? or 91??" Barbiereplied. next we did this. When asked whathad to correctly. With furtherguidance.") Whenaskedto show thatthe angleswererightangles. Beth was guided to see how one pair of angles formed a right angle and then was able to explain why the otherpair also formeda right angle. Until the studentshave greater experiencewith the converse. togethermake 90?--it'sobvious.Barbiekept reasoning fromthe converse. In explaining her family tree.116 the pattern. they were asked: "If we put two congruent right triangles together.you can just tell" (level 0)." Elena . bothstudentssuggestedusing D-stix andplacingthemin such a way thatthey would not meet. In the explanation." The studentwas pressedto give a more it carefulargument using the angle sum of a triangle. it is probablyunrealisticto expect them to "separate the twins.the opposite sides will be congruent" be trueto be a rectangle. Basically Beth was able to follow argumentsand providepartsof argumentsbut she had not yet reachedthe or stage of spontaneously independently thinkingof or initiatinginformaldeductive arguments. However. she was able to establish right angles by means of a deductiveargumentbut the quality of her response showed mainly level 1 thinkingwith no consistent movement towardlevel 2.both studentsneededguidanceto thinkof applyingsaw/ladderprinciples. protractorto measure it.Barthand Elena completedthe next threeactivitiesfor finding areaof a parallelogram.Barbiemeasured with the transparent overlay angle tester and said: "These two angles when put remarked." (It should the be noted that the studentswere given considerableexperience using "if lines are in parallel. "By puttingthem together. she tended to do it from a time line frameworkratherthanby logical relationships (i.dividingit into a rectangleand two righttriangles."). in the middle of her she again reverted to it "looking like" a right angle and used a explanation."Round off. will we always get a level of thinking rectangle?"This questionwas posed in orderto assess the student's in termsof the qualityof the explanationgiven.. triangleand a trapezoidwith varyingdegrees of success. Barbiereplied.both studentscited properties--opposite sides paralleland four right angles (level 1). Elena a suggested three different approachesfor finding the area of a parallelogram-convertingit to a rectangle. Doreen. Before Beth and Barbie completed their last clinical interview.using two congruenttrianglesto forma parallelogram noted that"you would use b x h and divide in half and that would work for any triangle. Beth responded. "Wedid this first.e."If you put them together (level 1).and using an transparent overlay grid. In tryingto justify that the opposite sides are parallel.

In generalthey tendedto be at least level 1 thinkersdespite occasionallapses to level 0 type responsesandsome studentsin the groupexhibited progresstowardlevel 2 thinking.g. .. he seemed to have momentsof good insight.thus makingmeasuringunnecessary. Barthclearly explainedhis idea of convertinga into parallelogram a rectanglein orderto find its area. andmade clearstridestowardlevel 2 thinking. "you know its a trapezoid by its shape. and add these together. not really half.Elenaand Doreenbecamemore consistent in their level 1 thinking and clarified a numberof their misconceptions as they worked through the modules.who also only completed two modules.however. into a parallelogram and a triangle. it looks like triangleshave been choppedoff'). Fromthe above analysisof the GroupV students' on performances Modules 1.117 it thoughtof four differentways of finding the area of a trapezoid--divide into two triangles. inability to consistently identify right angles in figures) along with his non-acceptanceof some generalprincipleshe developed (e.g. Her explanations varied from level 0 (e. . while in the high ability group. On the otherhand. or build a parallelogramaroundit and subtractthe extra triangle. performedmainly at level 1 parallelograms .allowingcompletionof only two modules. She also made correctrevisions in her family tree when consideringthe possible use of her other approaches for finding the area of a trapezoid.Madeline. it is apparent that theirlanguageis richerand more fluent than thatof the studentsin GroupIV." He found the area of a trapezoid by the . Beth and Barbie. well.. The quality of her responsesin these activitiesindicatedgood progresstowardlevel 2 type of thinking. She spontaneouslyput her new rule card in her family tree and explainedit well. to level 1 whereshe madejudgmentson the basis of propertiesof a class of figures.. Then she immediately wanted to check out her new rule by a numerical example. She successfully developed a rule for finding the area of a trapezoid (with little assistance) using her first method and simplified it algebraically.so his rule was not refined any further. angle sum for any triangle)impededhis progress. Jorge's apparent perceptual difficulties (e. thenmeasurebase andheight of the othertriangleand take half." AlthoughBarthwas a ninth grade student. She also thoughtof differentapproaches(much the same as Elena) for finding the area of a trapezoid and was successful in organizingand explainingher family tree. 2 and 3. He tendedto use the words and "lengthand width"in talkingabout areasof parallelograms trianglesso he too measured an adjacent side as the height. into a rectangle and two right triangles. She moved froman almosttotal relianceon a visual approach measuringto an understanding or of the role of deductionin solving problems. worked slowly and thoughtfully filling in some conceptsat level 0 or 1. Barth. Doreenneeded some prompting when she persistedin thinkingof the height of a parallelogram of a triangleas the lengthof a side adjacentto the base andalso and when she arguedthat the area of a parallelogram was 360?. Barth called trapezoids "half method of two triangles and with a promptdeveloped a rule: "Takea ruler and measurebase andheightof one triangleandtakehalf.g.he was not studying algebra.

Kathy. Mau and Ling). Module 1. in particular."When asked to point out the angles in the concave shapes." The quickness and systematicapproachused by the studentsin this group to completethe first sort (sortingpolygons by numberof sides) and theirspontaneous introduction the numberof sides to describetheirsortcontraststrikinglywith the of of performances some of the studentsin GroupIV and GroupV." Kathyspoke of a are right angle as formed by "two lines--one going down. All seven students in this groupcompletedModules1. would place her in GroupV. In orderto compareher responsesto those activities with other studentswho also did these extendedactivities. consequently completed more activities. two are equal and the othertwo are equal. "Itis 90?.the Projectassigned seven ninth graders to Group VI (Alice. and towards the end she exhibitedlevel 1 thinkingmoreconsistentlywith evidence of some level 2 thinking. In responding to tasks in the opening activity. . all the students showed that they were familiarwith basic geometry concepts. A strong as subjectby both studentsseemed to opinionof mathematics a procedure-oriented impede their willingness to deal with different approaches to a problem or to ideas. some level 2 thinking." Linda'sdescriptionof parallellines was "twolines that nevermeet.118 althoughboth gave evidence of some progresstowardlevel 2 thinking. explorenew mathematical Group VI As a result of the analysis of the videotapes. Kathysaid (pointingto the reflex angles) "theseare funny angles" and immediatelydecided the shapes did belong in the quadrilateral set. Carol. all sides parallel. The responsesto the activitiesin the modulesof the studentsin this group areanalyzedbelow. she workedmore rapidlythanthe studentsin Group V.all four right angles. In describinga rectangle. is like an L or a comer of a square. Ling also wondered momentarily whether the sides forming the reflex angle should be thought of as "one side--one bent side" or two sides. While not always the precise. Kathyand Carol were a bit concernedabouttwo concave shapes which they said had "threeangles and four sides and looked triangular. Samantha. are the same distanceapart--they like in a plane. 2 and 3 with some Extensionsin the six hoursof clinical interviews.she has been includedin GroupVI.) See Table4 for a characterizationin a general way of each student's level of thinking on key activities. as will be seen below. Performancesof these studentswere differentfrom those in GroupIV and Group most exhibitedmore consistentlevel 1 thinkingwith evidence of V. For the most part they used standard terminologyin describinggeometricfigures. one going across and they meet to form an angle of 90?"while Alice said. (While Kathy'sresponses in many instances. Linda. he decided on two sides. closed.Carol'sinitialanswerwas typical:"foursides. fluency and spontaneityseemed to characterize languagethey used in speakingaboutgeometryideas.andworkedmorerapidlyandconfidently.

"Otherstudentsin this group also tended to spontaneously justify theirresponses. parallelogramsand figures with no parallel sides. has oblique is angles. Ling began by sorting into two sets: "figures with quickly parallel sides and those with non-parallelsides.) sort It is interestingto note Linda'slanguage--sheconsistentlyused the word "because" in her explanationsof subclassrelations. thought back to her question and spontaneouslyconcluded: "Oh. When the studentswere asked in Activity 3-4 (InclusionRelations)if a square could be placed in the rectanglepile. in the second sort (sortinga set of quadnlaterals). he changed to three sets: "figures with right angles.119 the Again.parallelogram figures with no parallel sides. The fluency of the students' responsesindicatedthatthey were analyzingfiguresin termsof theircomponentsandrelationships betweencomponentsandestablishingproperties for a class of figures. but the rectangle could not go in the squarepile. Alice." She also explainedclearlywhy all rectangles could not be squares.previously learned. trapezoids and others" and as Samantha the sort she spontaneously did asked. All the studentsreadilylisted propertiesof the shapes(Activity 3-3) in each of their piles." Linda also arguedthat "a square could not go in the parallelogrampile because the sides are not slanty and a parallelogramdoes not have right angles. When asked if the squarecould go in the rectanglepile if only the propertieslisted were considered. definitionof a rectangle. parallelograms. because a rectanglehas two longer and two shortersides and a squarehas all sides equal. they tended to check their otherpiles quicklyto see if the property applied. Kathy tended to say "notslanty"ratherthannoting right angles for a rectangle.for example. he arrivedat four sets: "square.she tendedto use quantifierssuch as "all" and "some". that is." They were reasoning correctly from their incorrect. Few promptswere needed. examiningher list of properties squaresand on for rectangles. Upon noting a new propertyfor one pile. she nevertheless continuedto think of parallelogram. parallelogramsand others"with Carol thinking of parallelogramsas which are lopsided." and Finally. Samantha. Mauwas particularly and thoughtful fluentin his explanationof subclassrelationssaying.they immediatelyresponded:"Yes." Alice. Ling andLindaimmediatelysaid: "No."Aparallelogram a quad is ." (Although the description and propertiesof a parallelogramhad been discussed with Lindapreviouslyand she had acceptedthe idea that rectanglesand squares were types of parallelogramsand had explained why. Carol and Linda also sorted into four sets of "squares." This reasoning was consistent with Linda's unlisted property for a parallelogram--"it slanty. rectangleand squareas disjointsets. rectangles.rectangle." Then." Mau. all of squaresare rectanglesbecausethey have all the properties a rectangleand all the sides areequal."Areall squaresrectanglesor are all rectanglessquares?"It was suggestedthatshe mightbe able to answerthatquestion afterdoing some of the upcomingactivities.not perfect. studentsworked and systematically. Perhaps the quadrilateral done in Activity 3-2 in some way reinforcedthis idea for her. that'swhy it's a quadrilateral.Kathyand Samanthasortedinto "rectangles five sets: "squares.and she explainedher ideas with statementssuch as "asquarehas four sides. rectangles.

"Foursides.would we be able to show that all the other are propertiesof a parallelogram true?"The studentsthoughtthis was possible and were congruentusing a showed that the opposite angles of a parallelogram easily saw/ladderargument." In decidingon the minimumclues (Activity3-8) neededto describea rectangle. "theseare not necessary. is not a rectanglebecause they need rightangles. "Yes. and is not a square because they need rightangles and all sides equal. you have to have four sides. for example." Carol selected three clues to describe a and angles. [herehe listed all the properties]. In reflecting on what he had done.but you could put a rectanglein the parallelogram because. opposite sides are congruent" and ruledthe otherclues out by saying. 3-7) were easily done by the students who referredto propertiesof figures to justify their conclusions. if all angles are rightangles. in selecting minimum clues to describea squaresaid. but now squareis eliminated. they establishedwith very little guidancethat the triangleswere congruentand so concludedthat the opposite sides of a parallelogramare congruent. then opposite angles are congruent. did Ling and Samantha the minimumpropertiesactivitylater(afterModule2). their oppositeangles are equal.citing precisely the right propertythatwas needed to acceptor refutea given figure'sinclusionin a category. does that seem opposite . all angles are rightangles. then they are parallel. then it has four angles.. Linda was also quick to respond to each clue saying. all sides congruent.all sides arenot going to be equalsince one side is alreadylongerthananotherside. Ling is asked. all sides are congruent" said." (Note the "if-then"language of both Alice and Carol.120 because it has four sides. Mau. were asked. he immediatelysaid "No" and drew the figureat the rightto justify his conclusion. she decidedto add "foursides"as a necessaryclue if yourdon't assume the figure is closed."When asked if the clue "foursides" could be omitted. "So all we need in orderto know that a quad is a parallelogram that the sides are parallel?" The interviewer replied. all angles are rightangles. opposite sides parallel. "Ifit has four sides. Mau gave very quick logical answers." pile The Uncovering Shapes and Uncovering Clues activities (Activity 3-6. all angles are right angles. "Foursides. "If we only use your two properties. Alice selected "foursides.then opposite sides are congruent."They were then asked. they just come along--if you have four angles. if all angles are right angles. is not a trapezoidbecause they have only one pair of parallelsides.. "Squareand rectangleare possible because of the rightangles. square--"four pointing to the remainingthree possible clues. Then by drawingin a diagonal.) Carol'skeen reasoningalso was evident in her question: "Don'twe need another clue thatsays the figureis closed or is thatjust assumed?" As she pondered her own question and drew the sketch at the right. "Whatwould be the minimumpropertieswe would need to give They to a friend to be sure he/she would know we were thinkingof a parallelogram?" Both studentsreplied.if all sides are congruent.and if opposites sides are congruent.

He continuedto thinkthatone could angle somehow have both pairs of opposite sides paralleland still have the bottom side shorterthan the top (referringback to his drawings)and so he concludedthat one would need more than one right angle. she thoughtthatwas possible andput it in the kite pile. B / the studentsargued. she removed it since it did not fit her description("twolongerandtwo shortercongruentsides").With a few prompts. remainedunimpressedandunconvinced he of the truthof the statement had establishedthrougha logical argument. the students'responses basically referredto propertieswhen asked to describe a class of shapes (kites).has two pairs of congruent remainedunconvinced. "Opposite angles are congruent[one pair]. Their responseswere with four rightangles. and changedher description to "four sides. She then consideredthe rhombus." She also said that "a squareis a kite and it could be three dimensional"-probablythinking of a "realworld"kite. a diagonalgives two congruenttriangles."If A is a right angle. Although he was unsuccessfulin making a drawing which was a counterexample. Linda'sresponse to this kite activity in terms of symmetryis of interest:"Itis diamondshaped. two pairs of of adjacentsides congruent." Samantha therefore concluded that it was enough to say that "a with one rightangle. A + B = 180?.so C + D = 180 [anglesum in a quad is 360?]." Ling did not thinkthatone right rectangleis a parallelogram was enoughdespitehis logical argument. possible for the sides to be unequal if you only start with the fact that the sides areparallel. a parallelogram four right angles were needed." To explorewhether similar:"Isa quad .121 reasonableto you?" Ling said. "No." Alice stated. When askedif a squarewas a kite. Ling made several attempts to make careful drawings. two longer congruentsides and two shortercongruent sides." To explore his doubts.put it back in the kite pile. Carolsaid.. he In the last assessment activity (Kites) in this module."Itlooks like a kite.still thinking that it was / . even measuringthe sides. In spite of efforts to help him understand what he had achieved by his argument."Kathyalso did some paperfolding the model andnoted that "congruenttriangles are formed by a diagonal and some kites have parallel lines. then B is a / are rightangle [oppositeangles of a parallelogram con/ / but gruent]. one pair of opposite angles congruent. they used a D-stix model of a parallelogramand focused on one angle as they moved the model to differentpositions.he i . Ling and Samanthawere then asked to give the minimum was propertiesneeded to be sure a quadrilateral a rectangle. the othersdid did too ("they are all attached").[foldinga papercut-out]diagonals meet inside and are perpendicular lines.I thinkthereare some exceptions.adjacentsides congruent[two pairs].. has one pair of congruentangles. so C = 90? and D = 90? [oppositeangles of a parallelogram are congruent]. Ling noted that as one angle becamea rightangle. Herewe have an interestingexample of a studentwho was able to give a clear cogent deductive argumentto establish a fact but who remainedunconvincedof the truthof the fact he had established." Whenaskedaboutthe rhombus (whichwas in herpile of kites).

they explained and showed the interrelationsof all the members of the family (see diagrambelow).122 sides so it will fly more evenly in the sky--it'sbalanced. the students had no difficulty doing the various tilings. There appearedto be few figure-groundor orientationproblems for the other studentsin this group. Group VI students were all quite proficient in estimating and measuringthe size of angles (manychoosing to use a protractor). "A squareis a non-kite. recognizing sets of parallellines and congruentangles in their tilings." Her basic argumentwas "it wouldn'tfly well--not pointed enough. Mau and Kathy went even further. she could it correctlyon a grid. They also quickly and correctly assembled their "is a special" arrow diagramsto show the interrelationshipsof square. Alice commented. kite and quadrilateral. Linda and Samanthaused "if-then" language. Carolthoughtit had somethingto do with "beingpart of a circle" while Ling said he had "triedit for a few triangles and it works. Mau.All knew thatthe angle sum for a trianglewas 180? (having leared it in seventh/eighthgrades)but none could explain this angle sum fact."Lindasaid. quadrilateral Parallelogram -Trapezoid -Rectangle -Kite Square Quadrilateral -- Module 2.cannotbe a solid shape. then you end with parallellines--andthese are different. For the most part. "If you start with parallellines. The above sample responses indicate that some students in this group were makingprogresstowardlevel 2 thinkinginsofaras they were able to identifysets of properties to characterizea class of shapes (level descriptor 2-la). Alice. identifying some saws/laddersin grids and describingthem in termsof theirproperties. Some of these students seemed able to immediatelyplace separate "the Siamese twins" (statementand converse). For example." Her strong perception of a "flying"kite made it difficult for Linda to accept the possibilityof consideringa squareas a kite. Each of the first two problemsrequiresonly one saw or one ladderand posed no difficulty for the ." In Activities 4-4 and 4-5." Mau confided thathe had "alwayswonderedwhy it was true"but did not know why. it must be pointed enough to flow in the air. Alice had such keen visual memorythat after studying the outline of a saw or ladder on a transparent overlay. then you end with congruentangles and [pointing]if you start with congruentangles. two pairs of adjacentsides congruent. the studentswere requiredto give logical arguments using saws/laddersto show why certainangles were congruent. Kathy needed extended experience in identifying and recognizing saws and ladders in various positions in grids and then had major difficulties in finding congruent angles in the grids." Hence her final descriptionof a kite was "foursides.

In the courseof are a discussion. After a thoughtful moment. MauandKathyneededsimilarprompts. Alice and Caroldiscoveredthat the angle sum for a was also 360?.123 students. justifying their decisions on the parallelogramand a quadrilateral basis of coloring angles in a parallelogram and grid and tiling with quadrilaterals then later explaining their result on the basis of dividing the figures into two triangles(180? + 180?).and seemedpleasedthat the same approachworked. They explored this idea. she recognized a straight angle in her grid and then explained why the three angles of the triangleequaledthe three angles makingup the straightangle and so the sum was 180?. they arrivedat a correctconclusionand were able to justify theirresult. Lindaand Samantha gave similararguments notingthe straightangle andjustifying theiruse of saws/ladders pointingout the sets of parallellines in the grid. Samanthaand Ling wonderedaloud whether the angle sum for a concave quadrilateralwas also 360?. justified their conclusionby drawingin a diagonalto createtwo triangles. by All the studentsarguedthat the angle sum for squares/rectangles 360? on was the basis of four right angles. but all were able to follow and summarizethe interviewer'sexplanation (model solution) and in some instances to suggest an alternate method for solving the problem.Ling said. ladder and saw. or two ladders). None of the studentsindependentlysolved the thirdproblem(requiringtwo saws.showing thatboth pairsof oppositeangles in a parallelogram congruent.Ling and Samantha immediatelyexplainedthe angle sum for a parallelogram for any quadrilateral the basis of subdivisioninto and on two triangles.coloring and tiling. InitiallyAlice arguedin reverse. With guidance. studentsbeganto explainwhy the angle the sum for a trianglewas 180?. "Doesit have to be a set amount?" Linda." With a little prompting. so B + A = 1800. Mau. The interviewer explainedthatsometimesit is necessaryto find a "missing link"when trying to show that two angles are equal.Ling thoughtthatthe sum of a pairof consecutive interior angles of a to parallelogramwas 180?. Kathyand Lindainitially said they did not know what the angle sum of a parallelogram asked mightbe. / A = X by a ladder. and the interviewerreviewed the use of the transitiveproperty(which the students had all learned in school). so the sum of the six angles about a point is 3600. . Alice gave precise arguments (identifying congruent angles via saws/ladders and then using the transitive property)in the next two problemsandalso in the final assessmentactivity. First by coloring in congruentangles in a grid via saws/ladders(Activity 5-3) and thenby informallogical arguments.statingthat"theangle sum of a triangleis 180? and thereare two of each of the triangle'sangles at each vertex of the triangulargrid. He was encouraged try to establishit logically. "B + X =180? by straightangle. The interviewer suggestedadding an "x" to the adjoining diagram." He concluded that the same argumentwould hold going all aroundthe angles of the parallelogram.

"A = B by a saw. E = F and exterior angle = B + F. "How did you establish that this was true?" Then. Since A = B. without any false starts. drewin a line through vertex of the exteriorangle parallelto one side of the tri. Alice needed a prompt. Alice and Ling triangles both asked what the angle sum of a hexagon would be. Alice.e. almost instantly recognizingthe ancestors. angle sum of polygons..explaining carefullyhow she was placingthe auxilaryline parallel /E to one side in orderto forma saw andladder. she noticed a pattern:"the two interior angles add up to the exterior angle.. Kathy'sresponseto the threemarkedangles was "mustbe the same . E = F by a ladder." With a promptto thinkaboutwhat we did to find the angle sum in a quadrilateral.124 When confronted with the possibility of dividing a quadrilateralinto four triangles and obtaining720? as a possible angle sum. saws/ladders. congruence of opposite angles in a parallelogram). Mau. but after measuringthese angles in three different triangles." In attemptingto give a logical explanationfor her theory. Activity 7-3 (Exterior Angle of a Triangle).they placed the statement in theirfamily trees correctly. no.was done by threestudentsin this group. logically explain the interrelationships straight angle. It is interestingto and note that many of the students in this group spontaneouslywondered about and wantedto exploreextensionsof the ideas with whichthey were working. so you must subtract 360?. Kathyquickly subdividedthe pentagoninto three andnoted thatthis approach would work in all pentagons. Some needed the prompt. Therewas a brief hesitation on their part as they wondered where "opposite angles of a parallelogramare congruent"would fit in their family trees. angle and said."Wouldit be possible to divideup the exteriorangle in some way?" Almost the immediatelyshe recognizedthe possibilityof a saw. Alice did not at first see any relationship among the three marked angles (exterior angle and two non-adjacentinteriorangles)." She also gave a similarargument for the second problemin this activity. All the students in this group built.who said the angle sum "is greaterthan360?--maybe4000. They were encouragedto explore this idea and they quickly explainedhow every hexagon could be divided into a quadrilateral two trianglesso the sum would be 720?. the ." The angle sum of 540? for a pentagon was discovered and justified easily and one throughsubdividing the pentagon into three triangles or a quadrilateral triangleby all the studentsin this groupexcept Kathy. a family tree for angle sums of polygons and explainedthe ancestorsfrom a logical or standpoint(level 2) and not from a procedural time-line perspective. Activity 6-4 (FamilyTrees) was designedto assess whetherthe studentscould developedin this module (i. one of the possible extension assessmentactivities. then exteriorangle = A + E.. Samanthaand Carol(aftersome thought)pointedout the "extra angles being countedin the center.

Module 3. Alice and Linda explained that the parallelogram. Further evidence by of their level 2 thinkingis shown in theircorrectplacementof the new principlein their previously constructedfamily trees and their thoughtfullogical explanations of the relationshipof the new principle(exteriorangle of a triangle)to some of the otherideas shown in theirtrees. Afterwardsshe was able to summarizewhat was done and restateher argument coherently. Linda'sinitial responseto the threemarkedangles was "theexteriorangle and the interiorangle are the same"but this was quicklyrevisedto "theexteriorangle is the same as the two interioranglestogetherbecauseif you subtract themfrom 180?. both studentssaid. thoughtof a saw. The above instancesindicatethat these studentsare exhibiting level 2 behaviorsin justifyingnewly discoveredproperties deduction.she was asked." In the second problem.she was makingprogresstowardslevel 2 thinking. all have 360?.125 exterior angle is probablybigger . In the introductory Tangramactivity. looks like these two [pointing to the two interiorangles] would fit in the exteriorangle. I: Could I move the pieces of the trapezoidso they S: Neatly? would fit on the rectangle? I: A Figure . "Oh." Interviewer: "We didn't measure. insisted." She checkedout her hypothesison three cases and when she found it worked.." The interviewer(I) put two righttriangleTanand grampieces togetherin differentconfigurations the following dialogueensued. noting the ladder and congruentangles). they are the same"(an insightfulalgebraicsolution). Then Lindathoughtshe might explain it by saws/ladders. Are you saying thatthe two trianglesin figureA take up more space thanthe two trianglesin figureB? S: Yes. Would you have more faith in it if you measured?"Linda:"No. "theytake up the same amountof space"and then recognizedthatareadid not relate to angle measure." After some \ / discussion. drew in an auxiliaryline (statinghow and why) and proceededto give a clear logical argumentwithoutany assistance.I got it right! I got it!" Kathyneeded guidanceto put togethera logical argumentbut she had a clear view of her aim and gave some of the steps in the argument(e.that the trapezoid"takes up more space because it's longer. turnedthe paperfor orientation. after comparingthe rectangleand the trapezoid. Kathy.she exclaimed.Linda identifiedthe exteriorangle and two non-adjacentinterior angles.her aim was to get the two interiorangles equal to two parts of the exterior angle but she needed one or two promptsto find the correct ladder. rectangle and trapezoid (all made from the squareand two small right triangles) were equal in area because "all quads are equal. and her Is it always true? Linda: "Yes--probably always.g. they arecoming to a point in A andfit together inB.. After completingher argument restating conclusion.. on the other hand.

Typical the (Ling) and "it'sa rule"(Linda). . multiplication a shortcutfor addition. Samanthasaid (abouta 4 x 6 rectis really addingfour sixes."said Kathy)and then decidedthe squarewas bigger." Linda quickly used a ruler.something like that. [mumbledabout perimeterand 'perimeteris area outside'] . "butone is longer.she correctedher answersto "square uncertainty about area units and confusion of area with angle sum and with in was also apparent the thinkingof some of the studentsin this groupas it perimeter was with studentsin GroupV. not sure. "Do you mean inches?"or "Whyis the answerin inches. I: [demonstrates moving the left triangle over and -fittingit on the rightside] Are they the same? S: I: You are not sure? S: No..but to no avail." It is interestingto note that inches?"). "Let'sfind the area of this face."oryou could add the four sides." When the alternateform of the as rule "lengthx width"was introduced "basex height.using a transparent overlay grid or knowledgeof the areaof a using a ruler. . no way. Whenpressed responseswere "that's principle" for some explanation of the rule." Mau." angle). Samanthaand Carol easily explainedwhy the area of a rectanglerule works. The other studentshad no difficultywith this introductory activity. "Oh..126 I: Yes. I guess. you could count" and Kathy added." The problem was restatedand she said. Kathy." In this task all the studentsdescribedthe of area of a figure as the "number squaresinside. and Carolthoughtthey were the same size. From the outset Linda and Samanthathought the square was bigger.Ling andLindaknew the rule (lengthx width) and could use it in solving problemsbut could not explain why it worked." Linda'sfirst responsewas "add2L and 2W.." The interviewersaid. The studentwas not convinced. Decisions were made by overlayingthe figures. "well. when prompted(e."Thearea is 72 squareinches. Mau. Responsesto tasks assessing the student's rectangleindicatedthatAlice. Ling.g. . "You're Finding the area of the outside of the jewelry box did not present major problems for most of the students. most said.found the areaof each face correctly. Figu B The interviewertriedhardto have the studentsee they were equivalentin area. In comparingthe sizes of the tops of two jewelry boxes (Activity 2-1).then found the sum and announced." However.since "byeye" one seems bigger and she said." It would appearthat the studenthad some perceptual difficulties or had a problemwith conservationof area. "Ithought'base' and 'height'were only used with triangles. Kathy tended to give her answers to area tasks in "inches."Ling said. S: No. I guess so. At first Alice and Kathythought the rectanglewas bigger ("it'slonger.you want the area ." In spite of several discussions on the meaning of the units.Alice's solution was typical: "Findthe area of two sides and multiplyby two. add area and perimeter.

Samantha." They also explainedthe relationshipsof the parallelogram and triangleto otherpartsof theirfamily tree diagrams." Linda and Kathy both said. All the studentsbegan theirareafamily treescorrectlyand Mau'sexplanation was typical:"thisthought[pointingto the area of a right triangle card] came from this one [pointing to the area of a rectangle card]"and "since two congruentright triangles form a rectangle. the area of the trianglewas half the rectangle.using a grid overlay. "Changethe parallelograminto a rectangle by cutting off a right triangle and and moving it to the other end. said. Lindasaid the area of a parallelogram b x h but used the rule as the productof two adjacentsides. She said. "the right triangle is half a square or rectangle"and proceededto explain how to find the areaof the triangle:"Youfind half the length andhalf the widthandmultiplythem.so move the trianglecut off by the heightto the otherside andthe size of this rectangle is the same as the parallelogrambut the shape is different. after a moment'sthought. then the parallelogram rectangleare equal. Carol gained insight into the when constructing measuring and meaningof the rule when she discovereda pattern four rectangles made with four differentpairs of congruenttriangles. "Oh.since two congruentright triangles form a rectangle.) Carol initially cutting thought of cutting the parallelograminto a rectangleand two right triangles and finding the areas of the threepieces.andthe studentslearnedhow to use an L-squarefor finding the measureof the height.Alice used a grid and after several numericalexamples hypothesized the area was " also b x h. The studentshad no difficulty in addingthe parallelogram theirarea family to trees and explaining how it was related to the rectangle and/or right triangle dependingon the method(s) they had used. The two studentsneeded guidanceto overcomethis misconception.instructionwas given on the meaning of "base"and as and "height" relatedto a parallelogram any triangle. was Since the other studentsin this groupindicatedthatthey did not know how to find the area of a parallelogram. All the studentswere creativein their approaches to discovering the area of any triangle: "divide it into two right . Ling said. all the students knew a rule (1/2 b x h) for finding the areaof a righttrianglebut some needed to complete a set of sequenced tasks to help them discover why the rule was true. like a into a rectangle(by rectangle. Lindathen said." Only Mau and Samanthaknew rules for finding the area of a parallelogram (Activity 5) and the area of any triangle (Activity 6) and could explain the rules (giving informal deductive arguments). so the area is base times height." The other students exploredvariousways of findingthe areaof a parallelogram.127 In Activity 4 (Right Triangle).the area of the trianglehas to be half the area of the rectangle."Ihave two ways of doing it--builda rectanglearoundit and then subtract two triangles the or divide the parallelogram into two triangles" (here he was using his prior knowledge for finding the areaof any triangle)." This was checkedout numericallyin several examples using a overlay grid and found to be incorrect." Then she showed how to converta parallelogram off a triangleon the left and moving it to the right side. "Thetriangle is half of a rectangleor square.

) The studentswere askedto explainhow they could be sure thata parallelogram was formed when they put two congruenttrianglestogether. Asked if it will always be truethat if two congruent triangles are placed together the resulting figure will be a parallelogram. She had difficulty selecting the correct angles to show the sides were parallel. so the whole triangleis b x h. Ling and Samantha. the sides are parallel.recognizedthat they had to show the sides S: I: S: I: ." Guidancewas necessary to help her see that her resultwas incorrectand to assist her in derivingthe correctresult.having divided the triangleinto two of righttriangles.""use a grid." Carol'sdifficultieswith this problemwere very similarto Linda's. then equal angles and if equal angles. "area the firsttriangleis 1/2 b x h andthe second is 1/2 b x h.in doing the same problem. Lindawas then asked to explainwhy the otherpairof sides were parallel. With a prompt she recalled. I: So now whatdoes thatshow? S: The lines areparallelby a saw. "needset of parallellines. then parallellines.said.she was able to follow the logical argumentof the interviewerand to provide some of the needed steps along the way." Most students suggested two or three different ways and showed that their methods worked in acute and obtuse triangles. "makea saw"andpointedto two equal angles.. I: Why? S: Because the trianglesare congruent. But you aretryingto show these lines areparallel. thereforethe triangleis half.tracingher line of reasoning. a rectangleor parallelogram equals 360?. Linda describedthe positioning of the triangles "so the edges are not going to come together.. if they are properly placed. once they were identified. However.""takea duplicatetriangleand form a parallelogram." aroundit and subtractthe areas of the other two triangles. recognizedwhen each shouldbe used and then gave a complete correctsummaryof the argument. Alice. asked:how do we know these angles [pointing]areequal? Becauseyou have parallellines." The following dialogue ensued when the interviewer.." Asked how one might explain thatthe sides were parallel.128 "builda rectangle triangles.. Kathy. With guidance. she replied immediately. The placement of the areaof a trianglecardin the family trees was correctlydone andjustifiedby all the studentsexcept Linda whose explanationwas: "A triangle equals 180?.she began to see the differencebetween the statementand its converse." (Note how in sums again reappear an areaargument even thoughLindahadjust finished angle giving a logical explanation relating the area of any triangle to the area of a rectanglebuiltaroundit.she againengagedin circularreasoning. [laughs]If you flip it over. [promptsby moving--notflipping--onetriangleon top of the other]What can you say aboutthe angles? S: They are equal.she spontaneouslysaid. "well.

As a consequence . so when they arrivedat the rule 1/2 b x h + 1/2 b' x h . appropriate Althoughnone of the studentsknew how to find the area of a trapezoidfrom previous experience. The studentsexplainedtheirplacementsof the areaof a trapezoidcardin their of family trees clearly and made correctadjustments the arrowsas they explained for it possible altemateapproaches findingthe rule. andthen they gave good to explanations. and subdividingit into two triangles.explainingwhy cardswere put into the family tree a certainway and discussing altemateways. Most of the studentsreadilyexplainedwhy the heights of the trianglesand the trapezoid were equivalent: "theparallellines are the same distanceapart. including Activity 9 which will be discussed later) did an extended activity (Activity 8) to Module 3 in which they endeavored to discover a more general area rule for figures which have all of their vertices on two parallellines. they all were spontaneous in describing different possible approaches(Activity 7) for trying to discover a rule.or into a parallelogram a triangle. Alice and rewroteit in factoredform spontaneously Mau immediatelywanted confirmationof their newly discovered rule by using a numericalexampleto check it out." to make themthinkof a saw or ladderby congruent angles. they exhibited many level 2 behaviors--givinginformal arguments. Kathygave good explanations. some while othersneeded a prompt. As the studentsworked throughthe activities in this module. Initially they all suggested then they thoughtof subdividinga trapezoidinto a rectangleandtwo righttriangles. tasks to this activity developed ideas of similartrianglesand the ratio Introductory of their correspondingsides and also the notion of a midline."Howdo we show lines are parallel?. appearedthat she had begun to be more comfortablewith the idea of a family tree and she responded more fluently. students discovered and explained that the midline of a triangle was one half the lengthof the base. they easily gave logical arguments show the other of opposite sides were parallel. giving more thanone correctexplaand nationor approach a problemandthen relatingthese approaches a family tree. The studentsthen spontaneouslyused "ladder" argumentsto explain why a trianglecut off by a line the midpoints of two sides of a triangle is similar to the given segment joining triangleand recognizedthatthis was true for any triangle.following deductivearguments and supplyingpartsof the argument."All were firstyear algebra students. On the basis of similar triangles. to in All the students except Alice (who had already completed six hours of interviews. Evidently these three students had little pair difficulty separating the "twins" and could use the statement or converse in situations. They needed only the prompt. The studentsexplored the method of subdivision into two triangles in detail and discoveredandexplaineda rulefor findingthe areaof a trapezoid. using insightfulreasoningto solve problems. Some also considered building a rectangle around the trapezoid and subtracting the two triangles. Following this.129 were parallel.

"No. Answers were similar." The otherstudentsneededa little moretime andexploration to arrive at the same result. Ling. The placement of the similar triangles principle as an ancestorwas a bit troublesomefor some of the students untilthey were prompted reanalyzehow they had establishedthatthe midlineof a to was half the base. After the theirdiscoveries. Kathyspontaneously the following dialogueensued: . her responsesto anothertask. Linda interjected. At thatpoint."it'snot going to be midline x height for them. Initiallysome guessedthe midline was one-half the bottom base or tried to think about similar trapezoids. becausethe comers arenot on parallellines.the students went on to explainthatthe areaof a trianglecouldbe thoughtof as midlinex height. Mau was delighted with his result but added.. pointing to the rectangle and parallelogram.Mau instantlyhad insight into the whole problem and exclaimed (in surprise):"Oh. she proceeded to give a very careful explanation."ShouldI tell you the reasonwhy?" She had begun to thinkof the need for justifying each step. On the whole. the students assembled and explained (with little or no guidance) most of the interrelationshipsshown in their trees correctly. spontaneously rewrotethe rule for the areaof a trapezoid midlinex height.were examinedcarefully. The studentswere asked if their new rule could be applied to a given kite.Linda questioned."let'sput in a diagonal of the trapezoidand look at the pieces of the midline. All the students needed some prompts in discovering the lengths of the midline of a trapezoidin relationto the bases. When student--always thinkingahead. Samanthasaid.remembering aim of this activity. designedto assess furtherthe level of her thinking." tasksin this activitywas to assemblea family tree of all One of the culminating the ideas needed to deduce the area rule of midline x height. Since Kathy had made a few false startsin earlieractivities but now seemed more comfortable with manyof the ideas. Samantha as expressed surprisethat the rule was the same as the one for the triangle. But with the prompt." She was very thoughtful about constructingher for family tree andgave a preciseexplanation each of the interrelationships."Andyou also need a triangle ladder as an ancestor to this." Note the quality of thinkingdone by this whetheran idea can be extended. midlineto base is 1:1. it is midline x height . given that the drewin a diagonaland oppositesides (bothpairs)areparallel.the students. Lindaand Samantha approached problemthroughnumerical examples first and then gave a more general explanationof why the median of a trapezoidwas one-half the sum of the bases.for example. In startingher explanation." all the students quickly saw two sets of similartrianglesand discoveredthe relationof the midline the to the bases.130 of this discovery.questioning asked aboutthe length of the midline of a rectangle.. She was askedto explain why the opposite sides of a quadrilateralare congruent.

Alice. Kathy. sides are | lopposite of a quad parallel [simrnilar triangles | sides are | [opposite of a quad congruent Linda and Mau did the same problem but experienced some difficulties. The I: [prompting] trianglesare not congruentyet. the exterior angle of a triangle relationship." immediatelyreplied. explanations At this point. Ling and Samanthaimmediately thoughtof drawingin a diagonal as Kathyhad done and then gave careful logical with no assistance. Mau and Carol had completed their six hours of interviews.however. so the ratioof the othersides is 1:1. thinkaboutthe sides. the sum for polygons. Mau needed guidanceto complete the logical argumentsince he wanted to cut out the shapes and fit them together in orderto show congruence..131 S: The two trianglesare congruent. the ratioof the sides [pointingto the commonside] is 1:1. Doing the same problem.. she had difficulty explaining that the ratio of the sides was 1:1 and so needed guidanceto show that the sides were congruent. Samantha and Linda were able to complete the last task (Activity 9) which was to compare several of the family trees which they had assembled (e. angle c = angle d. no . To the question"Wouldsaw and ladder have ancestors?. angle a = angle b. propertiesof a parallelogram." Tracingback she ."parallel lines and angles. She also angle recalled using saws to show that two congruenttrianglesform a parallelogram in obtainingthe areaof a trianglerule. so the sides arecongruent.angle sums of polygons. areas of triangles and quads.Alice noted that saws and ladderswere needed in orderto deducethe congruenceof oppositeangles of a parallelogram.. Both needed a prompt(suggestion of drawinga diagonal) but then Linda immediately gave a good argumentto show why the triangleswere similar.... and the thirdangles are equal by what'sleft from 180? b .g. so the trianglesare similar. Ling. S: [tries folding one triangle over the diagonal to see if the sides are congruent] Oh... The above argumentalong with the family tree (shown below) that Kathy then assembled (and carefully explained) for this problem shows evidence of level 2 thinking. areas of figures with all vertices on two parallel lines). with two saws.here she was showing insight into how several of her family trees had the same ancestors. In examining her family trees for ancestors.. 7 I: Why? S: We could measure.

some neededmoreexperiencein this type of activityin approaches order to fully appreciatethe power of their arguments. "theorem" said. They werequickto suggest alternate ways of approachinga problemand appearedto enjoy exploring new ideas and concepts. this group of students exhibited most of the level 2 descriptorsin their work on the module activities. also made significantprogresstowardlevel 2. she indicated that she had heard the words "axiom" and but "postulate" commented.she replied."I don't rememberwhat they are. There was a similar dialogue about family trees with Linda. but I don'tknow what they are. Thinkingof arithmetic. The interviewer briefly explored the idea of an axiomatic (postulational) system with each studentand askedif theremightbe "familytrees"in otherpartsof mathematicsbesides geometry.we need to know all this stuff aboutarea [pointingto the areatree] before we could find this midline rule"and she spontaneouslyplaced an arrowbetween the two trees.Alice explainedeach step of the solution and gave appropriatereasons (i." She gave an explanation(similarto that given by Alice) for the solution of an equation." To illustrate. "Saws and laddersseem to help in everything. She then recognizedthat axioms were familiarto her as "rulesof algebra. She also noted. When betweentrees."The responsesof Carol.e.132 furthershe said. They workedmore rapidlyand consistently. They were not only thoughtfuland inventive about the problemsthey were doingbut were also reflectiveabouttheirown thinking."postulate".. arithmetic. never thoughtof algebralike that.Ling and Samantha also noted the role of saws andladdersin severaltrees andexplained interrelations between theirtrees. "Idon'tknow if there but is any differencebetween an axiom and a theorem.the solutionof the equation3(x+2)=18 was considered.she responded. distributive property. subtraction axiom. Linda. She spontaneously said.you had to know arithmetic. division axiom)." She agreed there had to be some beginning. askedif she saw a relationship "Yes.but it makessense."Asked if saws andladdershave ancestors. However. andSamantha this discussionwerequitesimilarto thosegiven by Alice andLinda to "I with Samantha remarking. were new Since reasoningby deductionin geometryand giving carefularguments for the students. "Inorder to do multiplication.and expressedthemselvesmore confidently. thanthe studentsin GroupsIV andV.Ling. "Inorderto do algebra. She is Alice said. Kathy said. for example. "Iguess they have ancestorstoo. while filling in some concepts at level 1." Kathyalso explainedin the areatreethat the rectanglewas the mainancestorandhow the otherswere derivedfromit.you had to know additionand numbers." was not familiarwith an axiomatic system." Linda thought she had heardof the words "axiom"." The idea of a theoremwas discussed and she recognizedfrom her family trees how certain principles (theorems) has been deduced from definitions and postulates. so arithmeticis an ancestorto algebra. . In noting that saw/ladder was a common ancestorin several trees." The analysisabove indicatesthatmost of the studentsin GroupVI. "Addition an ancestorto multiplication."Theylook like they come fromparallellines andangles.

Carefulinstruction frequent and review of conceptsand termswas neededto sustain . Summary of Students' Levels of Thinking Sixth Grade Subjects Analyses of the videotapedinterviews indicatedthat the sixth gradersin the studyfell roughlyinto threegroups. In addition." They showed little knowledge of basic geometric concepts andlanguage.and they reported havingseldomstudiedgeometryin gradeschool. much like the threestudentsabove. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize discussthe findingsof the clinicalstudy. grammar) especiallyexpressivelanguage.lack of familiaritywith basic geometric concepts and terminology. these threeseemed to be concepts "geometrydeprived.retention levels of thinking. visual perception. students'thinking processes and learning styles).andaspectsof the instructional examined. Their progresswas markedby oscillationbetween level 0 and level 1. Group II. and poor language (vocabularyand both generallyandin mathematics. They began at level 0 and for the most part.misconceptions. in particular. In fact..students'levels of thinkingon specific of moduleswill be tasks. Five of the 16 began in level 0. familiarones such as squares. Group I. The analyses of the videotaped clinical interviews provide insight and informationnot only on students' levels of thinkingin geometrybut also on factors affecting students'performance on the instructionalmodules (e. Threeof the 16 were strictlylevel 0 thinkers.g. Their thinking showed a lack of analysis of shapes in termsof theirparts. However. parallelograms) termsof less in properties. but made progresswith level 0 (learningbasic conceptsand terms)and into level 1 (usingthese conceptsto describeshapesandto formulate for properties some classes of shapes. prior learning.These students frequently forgot terms and concepts even shortly after they had been introduced the interviewer. and The clinical study indicates that the van Hiele model provides a reasonable structurefor describing students'geometry learning. language.g. remainedat level 0. All had a weak background school geometryand in by also difficultywith arithmetic and skills. These will be discussed following a brief summary of the levels of thinking of the students describedin Chapters5 and 6.CHAPTER 7 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS OF CLIN4ICAL STUDY The analyses of the sixth and ninth graders'clinical interviews have been presented in the two preceding chapters. they had difficulty characterizing familiarshapes (e.rectangles). even after instruction..

They were not at level 2. They also seemed more reflective about the questionsandproblemsin the modulesandabouttheirown thinking. The enteringlevel of seven ninthgraderswas assessed as level 0 in transitionto level 1. They tendedto be more verbal than the three "level 0 thinkers.. Initially. They also neededto become more fluent with level 1 languagefor describingshapes in terms of properties(e. their inability to expressan idea clearlyin a completesentence). the otherfour were on gradelevel. they did not approachproblems deductively nor did they appreciatethe role of deduction in geometry. however. most students equated "proof' with generalizationby examples (i. did not yet seem sure of the power of their deductiveargumentseven though they could follow an or argument give one on theirown.. While they beganto thinkaboutshapesin termsof properties(level 1).g. They were quite verbal and tendedto express themselvesconfidently.for example.134 theirprogress. similarto Group IV. A few progressed farther and began to give explanations (or simple proofs) more independentlyand with more details and rigor. Analyses of the videotapedinterviewsindicatedthatthe ninthgradesubjectsfell into threegroups."but they had difficulty expressing themselves using standard geometric terms and often used manipulatives in checkingproperties(e. that is. they did not try to relatepropertiesin a logical ordering(level 2). . why the opposite angles of a parallelogram are equal via saws and ladders. One of these five was below gradelevel. These students also had a weak backgroundin geometry.e. They tendedto respondmore easily to the interviewerthanthe three studentsabove and for also were less dependenton the interviewer feedbackandreinforcement. Ninth Grade Subjects Since the seventh and eighth grademathematicscurriculum large units on has informalgeometry.it was expected thatmost ninth graderswould have a stronger background in basic geometric concepts than sixth graders.however.. These students progressedtoward level 2 by following and then summarizingarguments. Most had to fill in or review some basic geometricconcepts. althoughmost had to fill in or review some concepts(rightangle.e. The two ninthgradelevel 0 thinkershad characteristics those describedabove for the sixth gradelevel 0 thinkers. inductive reasoning) and only graduallyafter experiencing some deductiveexplanationsin Modules 2 and 3 did they seem to acquiresome insight into an informaldeductive approach.. Eight of the 16 studentsshowed thinkingat levels 0 and 1 at the startof Module 1. Group V.g. They did not yet see the need for such deductive arguments. "oppositesides are parallel"). Group m1. Their decision-making about shapes and properties was always on a "looks like" basis. These studentswere all above grade level in achievement. oppositesides and angles) at level 0. Particularly noticeable was their limited vocabularyand poor language (i. placingD-stix on sides of a shapeto show parallelism)or in explaining. Some students.

They readily explained subclass relationsand learnedto relatepropertiesin a logical ordering. . of therebyshowing characteristics level 2 thinking. and greaterexperiencewith geometryconcepts.g. as mightbe expected. Factors Affecting Students' Performance on Modules There were some striking similarities in the performanceof sixth and ninth graderson the modules. In some instancespriorlearningand/ormisconceptions interferedwith progress (e. Language Although geometry is accepted as a strand in the K-8 school mathematics it curriculum.rectanglesand squares)in terms of their propertiesbut they had less or no knowledge of parallelogramsand trapezoids.135 They thoughtof certainshapes (triangles. In addition.therewere also significantdifferences.becauseof age. "a right angle points to the right". some used non-standardlanguage... Yet. "a square cannot be a rectangle"). In order to justify conclusions. Group VI: The remaininggroup of seven ninth graders(whose entry level was assessed as level 1) needed very little review of basic concepts and used but appropriate sometimesnon-standard languageto describefigures. Examples of studentvocabularyfrequently used for basic geometricconceptsare given below. was interestingto note that some studentsappearedto be "geometry deprived"in terms of their vocabulary. maturation. Factorsaffecting students'performances (i.. They spontaneously wonderedabout and wanted to explore extensions of ideas with which they were working--the"whatif' phenomenon. limiting theirprogresswithin a level or to a higherlevel of thinking)aredescribedbelow. "one ray of an angle must be horizontal". only occasionally reverting to level 0 type explanations. All of the studentsin this groupwere able to successfullycompleteat least some of the final optional assessment activities on Modules 2 and 3.some were able to formulatedefinitionsandjustify necessaryand sufficientconditionsin given tasks. measuringa numberof specific cases).e.e. they frequentlyresortedto an inductive approach(i. although sometimes imprecisely. and others used standardlanguage. They not only followed argumentsbut provided simple deductive explanations.some of these studentsprogressedtowardlevel 2 by following and/or summarizing arguments and by trying to relate some propertiesby a logical ordering. As with the comparable groupof sixth graders. They used or learnedlevel 1 language for describingshapes and their properties.

perimeter.and conditional statements (e. some students to responded questionsby pointingor using one wordor shortphrasesshowinglack of fluency or expressive language or perhaps reflecting prior experience in mathematics classes wherethattype of responsewas all thatwas expected. Gregory and . At the outset of an interviewmost students' maticallanguagewas ratherimprecise.few used a logical type of language.""Ican prove that"). same. . for level 1 such as the use of quantifiers (e.""any. perpendicularlines. . They did not exhibitlanguageneeded spontaneously Osbome (1975) point out that the interplayof logic and language--asin the use of "nor"--is vulnerableand confusing areafor adolescents.").volume box." to and As expected. "all.136 Geometric Concept angle rightangle lines parallel lines perpendicular diagonal side perimeter area rectangle equal StudentVocabulary point. sides or right "straight" clue for teachingsuch terminology--namely. "all these rectangles have . Students who were in transition level 1 neededwell-defineddirectiveswhich focused their to attention appropriate on languageto describepartsof shapesand sets of shapes." can explain. Initially." "I "because.. This may be an important a carefuldistinctionbe made between commonusage of a word and mathematical usage. They also displayed the ability to reason well.. as was reflectedby theiruse of languageassociatedwith levels 1 and 2 (e. volume area. The preferenceof some studentsfor using the gestaltof closed finite regions rather thanopen infinite space is seen in theirconsistentuse of the words "triangle" and "righttriangle" when referring "angle" "rightangle. .distancearound. horizontallines verticallines straight.They became more fluent in talking about geometry as they moved throughthe modules. ninth graders tended to be more familiar with geometry matheterminologythansixth graders. that angles.g." Studentswho were level 1 thinkersor progressedtowardlevel 2 picked up ideas quickly.""all."). . As the interviewprogressed.. Although most studentswere able to make simple informal deductions..""itfollows that. rememberedterminologyand used it appropriately. long square even. Some had trouble rememberingnew terms indicatingthat a vocabularyreferenceboard would be a valuable addition to the clinical interview setting. slanted line vertical straight. both inductively and deductively.most students (guidedby the interviewer) began to use termsmore accurately.triangle straight. . . then it is a .""itis truebecause.righttriangle straightlines.g. a "some.g. similar The influence of everydaylanguageand experienceis seen in the students'use of when speaking about parallel lines.vertex. "if the shape has .""neither. space.

The heightof a triangleor parallelogram the side adjacent the base. as did Fisher (1978). is Vinner and Hershkowitz (1980) studied images which students attach to certain geometricconcepts. a rectangle in standard positionhas two sides anda top andbottom). parallel lines.as did this Project.g.some angles were also called left angles. Shaughnessy and Burger (1985) note the importance of languageat differentlevels of thought.137 Studiesby Shaughnessyand Burger(1985) and Mayberry (1983) reportsimilar use of impreciselanguageand languagedifficultieson the partof studentsK-8 and pre-service teachers. including orientation and figure-ground problems. They indicatethat"students may have vastly differentgeometricconceptsin mind thanwe think"(p. . of Examplesof interference priorlearninginclude: . Misconceptions and prior learning. This underscores the need to assess the meanings that students attach to geometric terms during the instructional process. . have difficultyapplyingthe verbaldescription correctly. Misconceptionsand Prior Learning Perceptual difficulties. a leg of a righttrianglemust be horizontal). is to . were evidentin the performance some subjects.Having learned that a rectangle has two congruent long sides and two congruentshort sides. that students'formationof certaingeometricconcepts tendedto be biased in favor of uprightfigures. Examples of misconceptions include: .A segmentis not a diagonalif it is verticalor horizontal.thatsome studentswho know a correct verbal description of a concept but also have a special visual image associatedtightlywith the concept(e. . .A rightangle is an angle thatpointsto the right.To be a side of a figure the segment must be vertical (e..The angle sum of a quadrilateral the same as the areaof the quadrilateral. . Burgerand Shaughnessy(1986) of also reportthatthe turningor moving of figuresto more customary positionsby the students helped them identify such properties as right angles. in addition to language and perceptual difficulties.An anglemusthave one horizontal ray. They found. congruentfigures. impededthe progressof many students. studentscould not accept the subclass relationship thata squarewas a specialtype of rectangle. 425). Students' past experienceswith these figures (in textbooksor in teacher illustrations)may have been limited to specific orientations. This study found..g. The resultsof the Project'sclinical study clearly supportthe contentionthat language structure a criticalfactor in movementthroughthe van is Hiele levels of thought. Visual Perception.

The visual approachseemed not only to maintain student interest but also to assist students in creating definitions and new in and conjectures. needed constantreassurance.g.some subjectslackedconfidence. and modify them. was "that's rule. The above examples of student the misconceptionsand interferenceof priorlearningfocus on a need to structure apprenticeship processmore carefullyfor studentsin gradesK-8. Student Views." All subjectsmade extensive use of the concretematerialsprovidedto explore relationships. At times students'progresswas impededby theirexpectationthatmathematics a subjectto be recalledor memorized. carefulandthoughtfulin formulating Some reasonedby analogyto generalizations.areaandvolume of figures.constantlyused a strategyof randomguessing in problem solving situationsbecause"youmightbe right..a student's learningandperceptual mathematicscannotbe overlooked.discover patterns. others reflective. look at them." This was also truefor some sixth a graders."). some students triedto recall the fact andapply it to a totallyunrelatedsituation(e.or confirmhypotheses. Some were impulsive.Havinglearnedor memorizedrulesrelatingto perimeter. in Wirzup(1976) points out thatthe van Hiele model indicatesthatmaturation geometry is a process of apprenticeship. At the beginning. The use of manipulatives andotherconcretematerials allowedthe studentsto try out theirideas..gave up easily.g. interference of prior view of mathematics of learning and difficulties. many studentswere totally confused aboutthese concepts and the units of measure(e..explore it and find a solution withoutusing a rule was new to many students.many of the ninthgraders used involvingdiscovery a ratheralgorithmicor procedure-oriented to tasks.enjoyed independent explorationand were willing to make conjectures. Their usual reply.g. "Since a2 + b2 = c2 to find the area of a rectangle. . Some studentsquickly arrivedat generalizationsafterexaminingonly one or two instancesand laterhad to revise theirconclusions.otherswere more cautious.not one is or reasoning.Vaguely remembering having learneda geometric fact. As with any groupof learners. Gradually those studentswho made progresstowardlevel 2 realized that explanationswere expected and began spontaneouslyoffering reasonsor giving argumentsto justify theirstatements. Two ninth graders. The idea thatone could stop andthinkabouta geometryproblem.138 ."cubicsquareinches"). while lackingconfidence.were reluctantto take risks while others were more self-assured. approach when askedfor an explanation. "use . gaininginsightinto new relationships interrelationships.were persistent. Thinking Processes and Learning Styles In addition to problems caused by misconceptions. be reflective. arriveat conclusions--sometimes correctlyand sometimes incorrectly(e.

then the areaof a triangleis one-halfthe areaof a quadrilateral. 1 or and 2. A thirdexplanationis that the "entry" which involved cut-outfiguresor diagrams can be respondedto at levels 0.many studentsmade considerable progress in moving to a higher level of thinking while a few made little or no progress. A question to be asked is why did some sixth graders and ninth graders engage in mainly level 0 thinking on some "entry" assessmenttasks? One possible explanation students' is lack of experiencein doing in school. recognized when they were wrong and reflected on why that could be. the particular helped to clarify the generalconcept. and spontaneouslythought of alternateways of solving problems. As has been seen in the precedingchapters. are done most naturallyat level 0 which matches the format in which they are .poorvocabulary/lack precisionof language of .insufficient time to assimilate new conceptsandexperiences . Levels of Thinking on Specific Tasks Initial activities in each of the three instructionalmodules were designed to assess students'level of thinking. As they gainedmore experiencein using deduction. Possiblefactorsthatmay explainthis lack of progressinclude: .were willing to accept changes in definitions and reason from a new basis. geometry when geometry was studied. will be seen in Chapter is thateven as 9.139 the sum of the angles of a triangle(180?)is one-halfthe sum of the angles of a quadrilateral(360?). A second explanation.").lack of prerequisite knowledge .not reflectiveabouttheirown thinking Those studentswho made the most progressto a higherlevel of thinkingtendedto be systematic and flexible in their approach. The students' their need to examine a concreteexample ratherthanjust thinkingof the abstract idea.unresponsiveness directivesandgiven signals to .lack of realization whatwas expectedof them of . the text material probably did little to encourage assessmenttasks higher levels of thinking.rote learning attitude . Since the deductiveprocess of obtainingconclusionswas a new (anduntried) processfor them.some studentsbegan to appreciate and the power of theirarguments no longerresortedto measuringas a check.the students felt the need to verify their resultsby methodswith which they were familiar.insufficientor inappropriate activitiesto promoteprogress . After arrivingat generalizations inductionor deduction.studentsfrequently by chose to make a drawingor to measure.thus checking their result in at least one desireto put in values to makeit a specificexampleindicates example.lack of experiencein reasoning/explaining .

Three specific ideas (subclass inclusions. and proof) were difficult for many sixth gradersand some ninth graders. This evidence supports the van Hiele contention that levels of thinking remain stable across concepts. a few sixth gradersand some ninth graders(GroupVI) afterlimited instruction experiencewere able to give and careful deductive arguments("proofs")although frequentlynot appreciatingthe power of theirlevel 2 arguments.g. it was evident that the highest level of thinking attained on one concept remained consistent across other concepts.arearules for rectangles and triangles). In beginning a new concept. Time constraints these interviews did not allow for extended "apprenticeship" with this concept or with formal deduction. performedat a higher level on "potential" thanon "entry" towardlevel 2. As was seen in Chapters5 and 6. Burgerfoundmainly level 0 thinkingfor subjectsin gradesK-8. angle sum of a triangle. angle sums and area--an assessment of a student's level of thinking across concepts could be made. it is possible to teach materialto students above their actuallevel resultingin what he calls "reduction level.studentsknew the rules by rote (no level assigned) and could apply rules in problems (level 1) but were unable to explain why the rules were true (level 2). tasks. students frequently lapsed to level 0 thinking but were quickly able to move to the higher level of thinking they had reached on a prior concept. The difficulty of seeing the differencebetween the Siamese twins (statement and its converse)probablycan be alleviatedto some degreeby giving studentsmore experience in physically constructingthe two situations and in providing more or in settingswhich involve eitherthe statement its converse. just as this Projectdid for most assessmentsof entry level. of ..afterworkingthroughsome activitiesin the assessmenttasks instructional modules.especiallystudentswho progressed Accordingto the van Hieles (1958).thatis. to "see"squares.rectanglesandparallelograms as separate thanrecognizingsubclassrelationships the basis of sets on groupsrather of properties. Several of this Project'stasks for measuringentrylevel were similarto those used by Burger (1982) who conducted two non-instructional45-minute interviewswith studentsin gradesK-12. However. Siamese twins.140 presented. For both the sixth and ninth graders who completed two or three of the modules. Since the three modules focused on differentconcepts--properties figures. Frequently." Therewas of evidence of this in clinical interviews with both sixth and ninth gradersduring discussionsof certaintopics (e.most students.in this study. The activity of sorting (Activity 3-3) into separategroups of figures may have led some quadrilaterals studentsto a misconception.

and establishingpropertiesof figures (e. give proofs and explanations)." She thenproceededto prove the otherproperties the basis of her revised definition. discover properties. thesetwo students did not lapse backto a lower level." She was remindedthat a definition should contain only the minimumpropertiesneeded. in Group VI (now in tenth grade). Her reply: "Wellthey are all true. angle sum.g. responsesindicatedthatthe student. Whetherthese resultsare more permanent over a longerperiodof time and to what extent students retain what they had learned were not researchquestions of this one Project. The sixth grader. then you could on prove the rest." When the angles interviewerexplored the student'sunderstanding a postulationalor axiomatic of the system (see level 3 descriptors). However. the Projectdid explore thembriefly by reinterviewing sixth graderand one ninth graderone year after their initial interviews. readily discoveredpropertiesof a rhombusand gave different definitions for it (level 1). they retained muchof whatthey had leared both in terms of content and of what was expected of them (e. but "they are the same as saws and ladders.141 Retention of Students' Levels of Thinking The results of this clinical study are based on a student'sperformanceover a relativelyshortperiodof time--usuallythreeweeks for the eight interviewsessions.. is The ninth grader. equalityof angles). This interview included tasks on rhombuses--sorting.quickly discoveredpropertiesof a rhombus and gave a definition for it.aftera year of study of high school geometry.continuedto do thinkingcharacteristic level 2 of with some aspectsof level 3--thusher thoughtlevel in geometrymightbe described as in transition level 3. finding properties and formulating a definition.He also was able and to prove thatthe sum of the measuresof the angles of a triangleis 180? using saw/ laddersandto prove thatthe sulmof the measuresof the anglesof a rhombus 360?. Her definition included more than was necessary. they had used alternate interiorangles and corresponding of parallel lines. She thoughta moment and then correctlyrevised her definitionwith the comment:"Ohyeah. . subclass inclusions.. to Both studentshad done well in the original set of interviews.This questionof retentionin relationto the levels of furtherwith a largerrepresentative thinkingshouldbe researched sample. She was asked if all the propertiesmentioned were necessary in the definition. She gave carefulproofs for the angle sum of a triangleand of a quadrilateral.having filled in level 1 and andmade considerable progresstowardlevel 2. parallelismof sides. noted thatin her geometryclass. Linda. in GroupHI (now completing seventh grade). Thus.David. who was just completing one year of high school geometry.g. He also explained carefully subclass inclusionsfor the rhombuswith quadrilaterals parallelograms. She explained subclass inclusionsfor the quadrilateral family.

"explainthis to a friendover the telephone" particularly The instructional materials in Module 1 were designed to review topics normallycovered in grades4-8. Game formatsused square. the interviewerguided studentresponsesthroughquestioningand directivesaboutthe quality of responses. tiles. but studentsin transition need guidanceabout andthe interviewer-teacher use a meta-language can aboutthinkingto expectations.g. Completionof tasks in which they were given examples and non-examples (e. kites) or sets of clues for shapes (e. The intervieweralong with the instructional materialsplayed a special role in studentsto progress within a level or to a higher level. tiling). guided orientation. The sorting.the instructional assess level of thinking and were structuredto embody van Hiele's five phases (information. to of Studentsrespondedfavorablyto initial introduction concepts in real world settings (e. The availability to the students of a wide variety of visual materials and to featureof the instructional manipulatives select fromand to use was an important modules. arrows)as they were thinking..g. photographs. Studentson a given level realizethis. saws and ladders). A numberof the activities were modeled after those used by Dina van Hiele-Geldof (1957/1984) in her year-long "teaching experiment. The use of materials and/ormanipulativesby the students frequently helped them bridge a language gap--allowing them to "explain"their ideas by with concrete objects or drawings. tiling. in the task requiringminideductions (e.parallelogram) in some tasks were effective.studentswere placed in the role of detectiveschargedwith finding the missing link. to discover patterns.. explicitation. to make . not to develop them for weak students.. to visualize relationships. Also. For betweenpartsof a figure example. maps. the techniquerequiringthem to was useful. enabledstudentsto develop definitions. Additionalresearchis needed to determinewhetherothermaterialsand extendedinstruction wouldenablelow abilitystudentsto makeprogressinto level 1.studentsneeded to lear to observerelationships and to make generalizations(level 1) or to give deductive explanations(level 2). The culminating"familytree"tasks in the modules were if whattheyhad good assessmentactivities. Also.g.. free orientation. communicate suchexpectations the student.142 Discussion of the Instructional Modules modules were designed as a researchtool to As noted earlier."The Projectfound certaintechniquesand tasks particularly effective for developingand/orassessingstudentthinking. For example.g. thus helping students to learn the rules of the game. The interviewer helping provided instruction designed to move students to a higher level. integration) requiredfor transitionfrom one level to the next. the interviewscheduledid not permittime neededto developtopics carefullywith these students. To determine studentscould summarize leared and if they had reflected on their actions. and family demonstrating tree activities allowed the studentsto move pieces (shapes.

He points out that by "studyingchild thought apart from the influence of instruction. and the level of thinking they were demonstrating were carefullyassessedby meansof the students' performances on activities in the instructional modules.the processes they were applying. A uniquecharacteristic this researchwas its focus on a teachingexperiment of in the spiritof Dina van Hiele-Geldof. the errorsthey were making. excludes a very important sourceof changeandbars the researcher fromposing the question of the interactionof development and instructionpeculiar to each age level" (p. .the conceptsstudentswere learning. Throughclinical interviewsit was approach possible to monitor systematically the students'progress through the carefully designed instructionalsequences. This Project'sapproachto assessing a student's level in a learningcontextis similarin spiritto the methodof assessinga "potential" student'slearningpotentialrecommended Vygotsky (1962).and to reflecton whatthey were doing. 117). In this research. The detaileddescriptionsin Chapters5 and 6 of individualstudents'performances documentchanges in students'thought levels in geometry as a result of instruction.143 modifications. as Piaget did. Futureresearchusing aspects of these instructional modulesin teachingexperiments with groups(or classes) of studentsis neededandwill be discussedin Chapter 10. The Project'sinstructionalmodules were an effective researchtool for this intensivestudy of individualstudents' levels of thinkingin light of the van Hiele model.

The early childhoodmajorhad studiedno geometry in high school.and one was a mathematics to majorpreparing teach at the secondaryschool level. six were elementaryeducationmajors. an . Two were teachersof some of the sixth and ninth grade students involved in the Project'sclinical study.one was an early childhoodeducationmajor. In orderto have the teachersrecognizethe level of thinkingrequired text materials by and identify the thought levels of the students' responses to Project activities for (recordedon videotape). Among the five inservice teachers. two were currentlyteaching sixth grade. Five of the elementaryeducationmajorshad completedone year of high school geometry and one had only studiedhigh school geometryfor two monthsbefore transferring to a commercialcurriculum.the subjects(eight preserviceteachersand five inservice teachers) were given a brief background on the work of the van Hieles. Presentedbelow are a descriptionof the subjectsand proceduresused followed by four sections: (a) Teachers' Responses to Module Activities. (c) Teachers'Identificationof the Van Hiele Thought Levels. (b) Teachers' Commentson Instructional Module Activities.CHAPTER 8 CLINICAL INTERVIEWS WITH PRESERVICE AND INSERVICE TEACHERS One of the goals of the Project was to determineif preservice and inservice teacherscould learnto identifyvan Hiele levels of thinkingin geometryof sixth and ninthgradestudentsandto identifythe levels of thinkingrequired the exposition by and exercises in the geometry strandin various text materialsfor grades K-8. and (d) Implications for Teacher Preparationand ClassroomPractice. one was teaching seventh grade in a middle school and two were teachingninthgrade. Procedure Each subject spent approximately five to six hours over four sessions with an interviewer.the Projectbelieved that it was important the teachers to have first hand experience doing some of the same module activities as the students. The inservice teachersranged in teaching experience from one to eight years with an averageof 4 yearsof teaching.all in Brooklynpublicschools. Of the eight preservice teachers (undergraduatestudents at Brooklyn College). This provided an opportunity only to explore the teachers'level of not in geometry but also to have the teacherscomment on the suitabilityof thinking some of the Project'sinstructional materialsand activitiesfor use in the classroom. Subjects There were 13 subjects--8preservice and 5 inservice teachers. At the outset.

. Also this same groupthoughtof a diagonal of a figure as "something which bisects or divides the figure in half. Whenever instructionwas needed. Samplepages on geometryfrom text materialsfor grades 3-8 were also examined and discussed in terms of level of exposition and level of thoughtneeded for the studentto respondto the exercises correctly. "Ithink it has to have two longer and two shorter "I'mnot sure if it has to have right sides". the subjects completed selected activities from the Project's Modules and informallyevaluatedthe tasks in termsof suitabilityfor Instructional classroom use. aboutthe same size (I guess it doesn'treallymatter). 2 and 3 except for one teacherwho was unable to complete the last module. videotaped segments of five studentsdoing some of these activities were shown to the subjects. whethera rectangleis a squareor a squareis a rectangle angles". Each segment was followed by identificationand discussionof the student'sresponsesin light of the van Hiele level descriptors. They were also askedto review a set of 10 samplegeometrytext pages (grades3-8) and to describe the level of exposition and the level of thinkingneeded to respondto the exercises correctly. In approximately clinical interviews.but thereis an even space between them.145 explanation of the van Hiele thought levels (including level descriptors)and an three hours of one-to-one overview of the Projectand its goals. beside each other."). responsesto module activitieswhich characterize Module 1 All the preserviceteachers(except for the two who had not had a high school geometry course) and all the inservice teachers were quite fluent in their use of standardgeometry vocabulary."Idon'tremember because a squarehas all sides equal. lines facing each other.g. All of the preservice teachersfinished the designatedactivities in Modules 1 and 2 and four completed some or all of the selected activitiesin Module3." This last subject thought "side of a figure"meant a vertical segment. subjects were shown four other videotaped Modulesand were asked segmentsof studentsdoing activitiesfromthe Instructional to discuss each student'sresponses in terms of level of thought." In describing lines. Teachers' Responses to Selected Module Activities The subjectsworkedthroughthe selectedactivitiesin the Instructional Modules at differentratesdependingon the amountof review needed.all the teachersresponded eagerlyandquickly. There was some uncertaintyamong six preservice teachersand one inserviceteacheraboutwhatpropertiesshouldbe includedin their descriptionof a rectangle(e. The inserviceteacherscompleted all of the selected activities in Modules 1." The othersaid: "kind of like a mirror. one of the two subjects who had not studied high school geometry parallel said: "linesthatlook like sticks. In a follow-up one-hour session. "Don'tthe sides have to be straight?". At a later one-hour assessment session. Described below are some of the teachers' theirthinkingin geometry. . next to each other.

. [pause] . that's great! [The subject's apparent pleasure was an indication some new insightgainedaboutthese relationships..6 and 3.. One teachercommented:"These uncovering activities are really good. [Subject was being reflective abouther own thinking.] relationships previouslylearned--the The activities involving uncoveringshapes/clues(Activities 3.Some subjectswere carefulandcautiousin makingjudgmentsabout shapes and prefaced their statementswith phrases such as: "Accordingto what is Some promptingwas occasionally necessary to elicit propertiesof parallelismof sides or congruenceof oppositeangles. . and systematically. . . then . . This is a lot easier way of doing it. I just discovered something! [Evidence of new insight into [after checking propertieslisted] A square could go in rectanglepile.3 most subjectssortedquickly.. yes . 3.. the less specific ones embrace the more specific ones .. I never thought of that ... so.146 In Activities 3. many of whom spontaneously justifiedtheir statementson the basis of propertiesof figures. they are fun.2 (Sorting Quadrilaterals)and 3.] I: square could go in parallelogram pile .7) were done quicklyandeasily by the teachers. [long pause] . a AHA! phenomena.. .] of P: WhenI was learningthata squarewas a rectanglebut a rectanglewas not a square.I wonderedwhy.. Anothernoted .. after selecting a set of minimum properties.1 (Sorting Polygons)." or "Opposite angles appear to be equal.. a special kind . I: [looking at the lists of properties]A rectanglehas all the propertiesof a so parallelogram. so these are special . Some explained why properties not selected were not necessary.. hm .. One inservice teacher. . given. spontaneously proceededto deduce the otherremainingpossible propertiesand then pointed out thatthe originalminimumset constituteda definitionof the figure." or "It appears that .8) was quite challenging for most teachers.4 (InclusionRelations)which included questions such as: Could the squarego in the rectanglepile? Could the rectanglego in the squarepile? Couldthe squarego in the parallelogram pile? P: [pointing to array of shapes and properties] As we go along." The Minimum Properties (Activity 3. One preservice teacher drew illustrations of counterexamplesto justify the need for certain properties. . it makes it clearer. confidently (Propertiesof Classes of Quadrilaterals). a rectangleis a special parallelogram.. Many properties of the various quadrilateralswere given spontaneously. . so rightangles are necessaryfor a rectangleandthatwas whatwas missing in my original description of a rectangle ." Some interestingresponses(shownbelow) were spontaneously given by several preservice(P) and inservice(I) teachersin Activity 3. . according to my definition every square is a rectangle.. I see now. .

) After giving an explanation of the relation of the game to doing simple deductive proofs in "Thisis refreshingthinking.. the activity was presentedas a game--"To two prove angles equal game"--with rules (saw andladder)and a strategyof finding the missing link when needed. of the teachersneeded guidanceand practicein identifyingsaws and ladders many and congruentangles in complex grids. I don'tknow why a trianglehas 180?.. shown me." In this activity several of the teachers gave very clear deductivearguments spontaneouslysuggestedand explainedalternate and methods for solving the problems. I really don'tknow why--I was just told that if you take the three angles in any triangle and measure them. all the inserviceteachersknew this fact andtwo gave carefulproofs. I see that. but I don'tremember I thinkit has somethingto do with the areaof the figure." Module 2 most of the teachersestimatedthe In the openingactivity. The miniproofs involving saws and ladders in Activity 4 were challenging to some of the teachers with one preservice teacher commenting: "These are like little proofs from tenth grade which I could never but I like these" and an inservice teacher commenting: "These are . they musthave . one teacher was enthusiaticand successful and completed the remaininggames (problems)easily with great delight. For the two preserviceteacherswho had no high school experience in doing this type of task.. By the fourth game (problem)... the other teacher was impulsive about putting in all saws and ladders in each diagrambefore really thinkingabout the problem and so became confusedand frustrated. One of the preserviceteacherswho tendedto overestimate the measuresof the angles commented:"No wonderI can'tparkmy car.147 that "differentsets of minimum properties allow for the possibility of having differentdefinitionsof a figure.the first teacherremarked: figure out . making me think hard. An inservice teacherthoughtthat the measure of an angle--its be openness--should foundby using the lengthof a line segmentplacedbetweenthe rays. I: A trianglehas 180?.Angle Measurement. size of the angles well.." She was reflecting on how her tendency to overestimate impacted on another activity involving angles.. The Tiling activity was done quickly and systematically (using various to strategies)by all the teachers. Sampleresponsesare given below: P: A circle has 360?. After an introduction the Saw andLadderactivity. they add up to 180?--it'ssomethingwe accept.(Laterthis teacherbecamemore successful as she realized the need to first think about the problem and plan ahead.." geometry. All but two of the preserviceteachersknew that the angle sum for a triangle was 180? and three were able to give a deductive argumentto establish it. There were a few instancesof orientation or figure-ground difficulties.

you get a chanceto thinkthingsout first.. Most of the teachers were able to assemble and explain the Family Trees (Activity 6) for the angle sum of a triangleandfor the equalityof oppositeangles of with little or no guidance... correctlygiving appropriate .. I: Saws and ladders show this relationship such a concreteway--I love it in . I learneda lot..148 After coloring in congruent angles by saw and ladder on a triangulargrid (Activity 5).... All but three of the teachers were able to explainthe fallacy in thinkingthatthe angle sum of a quadrilateral equals720? when two diagonalsare drawnand four trianglesare formed. I: This shows the use of definitionsandpostulatesin the buildingof a family tree... two of the inservice teachers knew the relationshipand the remaining preserviceand inserviceteachersguessed the relationship eye" or discoveredit "by by measuringthe angles in several triangles. you learn to respect saws and ladders (I never thought I would) . Guidancewas needed in orderfor some of the teachersto thinkof constructing auxiliaryline to be used to developa an geometricproof. Typicalcommentsincluded: a parallelogram P: This shows how you arebuildingon simplerfacts. most were able to give deductive argumentsusing saws and laddersto establish the relationship. oh.. Some typical remarksincluded: P: I liked this .. that's wonderful! . many of the teacherswere quick to recognize the importanceof this from the grid"andfinding the angle sum for a triangle. those [pointingto angles forminga straightangle] are the threeangles of the triangle . activity in termsof "reading teacherremarks were the following: Among the spontaneous P: Oh. In the final assessment activity for Module 2. All the teachers discovered or proved the angle sum for a quadrilateral 360? is either by tiling with congruentquadrilaterals readingthe grid or by dividing and the quadrilateralinto two triangles. you can visualize it and it makes it easier to understand. I: there's your proof for the angle sum of a triangle is 180?.. Four of the teachersgave algebraic proofs to establish the discoveredrelationship. ExteriorAngle of a Triangle. You get a chanceto thinkabouthow things are related . Activity 7. . With the suggestion of an auxiliaryline. The teachers were able to place the newly derived principle in their family trees explanations. hm.

In this initialassessment. Only one preservice teacherandthe inservicemathematics teacherswere able to give a carefuldeductive to argument establishthis fact. However. L-square for finding heights. The answergiven for the areaof a rectangle6 inches by 4 inches was 24 inches althoughthey had covered the rectanglewith a squareinch grid or with 24 tiles.) and to the hands-onapproach. One inservice teacherwas so pleased with the Project'smodel which converteda parallelogram Co into a rectangle. Studyingthe family tree she had constructed. the concept of area andthe areaof a rectangleseemedto be familiarto all the teachers. models. In the succeeding activities in this module.most of the preservice teacherswere uncertainhow to find the area of a parallelogram and suggestedfindingthe productof two adjacentsides. definitions. theorems) and the meaning of proof showed that only the three teachers with a substantial of mathematicalbackgroundhad an understanding these concepts. transparentsquare grids. Whatcharacterized teachers'(bothpreservice the and inservice) approachesto these activities were theirspontaneoussuggestionsof several alternateways for findingthe areaof each of the figures. . They appeared to enjoy thinkingabout differentways of doing each activity. two preservice teachersand one inservice teacherwere not clear on the type of unit to use in area measure. one now how the formulas came about preservice teacher commented:"I understand and how they are related." commented.this was similarto statements made by some of the sixth and ninthgrade subjects. area rules for geometric figures were discoveredby the subjects.. All were able to solve problems involving areas of rectanglesand all but one teacherwere able to explain why the area rule for a rectangle worked. . Two of the preservice teachersthoughtthatusing angle sum relationships wouldhelp in findingthe areaof a triangle. all of the inserviceteachers proposed converting the parallelogram into a rectangle or dividing the into parallelogram a rectangleand two righttrianglesin orderto find its area.149 Discussion with the teachersabout a postulational(axiomatic) system and its elements (undefined terms. All but one indicatedthatthe areaof a righttrianglewas half the square-inch areaof a rectanglesince they could "see"that if two congruentrighttriangleswere placed togetherappropriately." Teachersrespondedfavorablyboth to the materialsused in developingthe area concepts (tiles. she my Module 3 Nine teachers (five preserviceand four inservice) completed activities in this module on area." Anothersaid: "Thefamily tree helps you understand relationships. C . the otherswere able to give partsof the explanation or to follow the argument given by the interviewer. In the initial assessmentactivity (Activity 2). The teachers were particularlyresponsive to the activities involved in buildingthe family tree for area. postulates or axioms. cut-out shapes. they would form a rectangle. Even one of these threeteachersacknowledged thatshe was not sureof the differencebetweena definitionanda postulate--"That's weakness.

reflecting back on some previous work.two subjectsenteredat level 0 while all othersubjectsentered at level 1 or higher.. After a discussion of the meaning of height of a figure. citing definitions and postulates. it's so clear." The teachers with strong mathematicalbackgrounds naturallyand spontaneously justified each step of theirexplanations. Having discoveredthatthe areaof a trapezoid could be expressed as "midline times altitude. As might be expected. The teachers made frequent comparisons between the module method of presentation and their previous learning and ideas. In summary... .one teachercommented: "Oh. they searchedfor patters.giving careful deductive arguments. It is of interestto note that some of the errorsor misconceptionsof the teacherswere the same as those of the sixth or ninth refersonly to verticalsegments.e.. .for example.The two ninth grade teachers (licensed mathematics teachers) and the preservice . Several of the activities into for providedopportunities the teachersto gain insight(the AHA! phenomenon) studied mathematicalconcepts which they had memorized but never previously really understood. reflectedand then said: "Hm. .150 she made a replica of the model and used it with her sixth grade class. one preservice teacher..thinking"sides" the phrase "straight lines" when referring to parallel lines. With instruction. triedto find a generalization and looked for interrelationships extensions. with her class using the Project's approach In using a model which convertsa trapezoidinto a triangle.that'snice--thebase of the triangleis madeup of the two bases of the trapezoid. the same principlewould apply to a parallelogram .. it's logical but I never thought of it. (i. I know this will stick in my head. they are all the same--midline times altitude .. showing evidence of many of the Project'slevel 3 descriptors). . and to a triangle..responses to Module 1 activities show that.. I shouldhave found the height insteadof measuringthe adjacent side. . so the areais one-halfthe sum of the bases times the heightjust like the formulawe derivedbefore--that'sbeautiful!" On the same task. thinking that a parallelogramhas to have oblique angles.. in terms of level of thinkingin geometry.." one teacher paused." The teachers were very thoughtfulabout the discoveries they were making. that'sgreat!" Anotherteachermakingthe same discovery commented: "Oh boy.using gradesubjects. commented: "That'swhat I was doing wrongbefore . and thinking that the angle sum of a polygon relatesto area. Latershe reportedhow much easier it was to develop the concept of area of a parallelogram thanthe way she had taughtit in the past.. The spontaneity of the responses and the quality of the that given by most of the subjectsby the end of Module3 indicated they explanations of were exhibitingmany of the characteristics the Project'slevel 2 descriptors. anotherteacher commented: "Thisis perfect!..those at level 0 attainedlevel 1 and one of these subjects also progressedtowardlevel 2. most of the preservice and inservice teachers exhibited considerablefluency of language in describingand explaininggeometricideas." Most teachers were not satisfied with finding the area of a figure for a and specific numericalcase.

by endings. maps.3: SortingPolygons. therewere instancesof teachers new relationships in previously learned (and not really understood) seeing structures well as indicationsthat teacherswere consciously reflecting on their as own thinking. who immediately justified their statementsby proving their conclusions (by giving ratherrigorousargumentsthat used definitions..The use of photographs. . were exhibiting some of the level 3 descriptors listed by the Project. Fromthis. postulates. Propertiesof Classes of Quadrilaterals .the studentswill see geometryideas used in reallife. picture of parallel bars.Sorting is a great idea.. as the van Hieles mightsay. In a study investigating the van Hiele levels of geometric thought in undergraduate preservice teachers. . While the goals of this study and that of Mayberryare quite different. frequently did not perceive class inclusions. Teachers' Comments on Instructional Module Activities Teachers were asked to comment on module activities in relationto possible classroom use. relationshipsand implications(level 2).) is good motivation.. Some commentson selected activitiesare reported below..151 secondary school teacher (mathematicsmajor). it would appearthatthe teacherswere. materials(D-stix. and other proven facts). Module 1 Activity2: Shapesin Pictures . 3.. and concrete Activities 3.. 3.1. I never thought of using it in math but it ties in beautifullywith what I do in languagearts--classifyingwords by sound. . In workingthroughthe instructional modules. In general their reactions were positive and enthusiastic.Mayberry(1983) found throughtwo one-hour interviewsinvolving geometrytasks thatpreserviceteachersoften did not perceive properties of figures (level 1). Many indicatedthey wantedto use these activitieswith theirstudents.. and I also develop classificationschemes in science and social studieswith the children. and found deducingrelevantfacts from a given statement to be very difficult.2.it is interestingto note thatthe threehours of clinical interviewsprovidedpreserviceteachersin this study resultedin teachersexhibiting many level 2 characteristics. Quadrilaterals. gaininginsightinto the subjectof geometry. angle testers.

7: GuessingShapesfromPartialView/Properties . . [The teacherreportedlater that she had introducedthis activity in her sixth grade class and "thechildren loved it. They reinforceyour understanding the propertiesand theirinterrelationships.8: MinimumProperties . . In the uncovering clues [properties].This is a terrific way of having children learn about the properties of figures.] Activities 3.This is a tough activity--a challenge--childrenmight get frustrated. It'sa nice final assessment. of The one way streetarrowsare good.Angle Sums for Polygons . I'm going to do more lessons like this. I'm going to try it with my class.] InclusionRelations Activity 4: Kites--Sorting.6. They could see how the figures were related to each other." She broughtsamples of the students' workto show how they developedtheirideas and recordedtheirfindings.The uncovering shapes is enjoyable. . It's a very effective way to have students deduce conclusions. Module 2 using saws andladders Activity4: Miniproofs .152 . Using saws and ladders in a grid is a nice informal approachto deductioninsteadof using formalconditionalstatementsat the beginning. Properties.Grids are a good method to use.Now I see why thattheoremis true--thisis a good way of showing children thatthe threeanglesaddup to 180?. The activity shows if you understand or not because you are thinkingthatmuch harder. Activity 5: Coloring. My brightkids [sixth graders]would be stretchedbut they could do it.I like this. it would get them to think. 3. The activity would really force students to look at properties. Activity 3. you have to think about it a bit more--it'sa little more difficult--butit's a good activity to follow-up after the children have learned about the it propertiesof figures.I thinkstudentswouldlike this activity. How could you do this activity with a whole class? [Discussion of this question includedan examinationof the five van Hiele phasesin the workof Dina van Hiele-Geldofwith seventhgraders.

ExteriorAngle of a Triangle . the interviewerand the teachersdiscussed the van Hiele levels of thinkingand the Project'slevel descriptorswere discussedin detail. Module 3 The teachers'commentson Module 3 activitiescenteredon the approaches used in developingthe arearulesandthe use of the "familytree"idea.It is importantfor teachers to help studentsorganize the ideas they learn. . Wherethere were differencesof opinion aboutthe level of a student'sthinking.I had not thoughtof interconnections amongtheorems. . Activities 6 and7: FamilyTrees.We just throwformulasout at children. This analysis and discussion enabled teachers to justify their decisions by citing appropriate level descriptors. This is a very visual way of showingthe interconnections. Discussion focused on the level(s) of thoughtneededfor the studentto respondto the expositorytext materialandto the exercise section. . Some teachers were reflective of their own experiences doing the activities in the Instuctional Modulesandquestionedandcommentedon theirown level of thinking. Sample pages from the geometry strand of several commercial texts (see Chapter9 for description)for grades 3-8 were analyzed by the teachers and the interviewer.these were resolved by reanalyzing studentresponses and referringto level descriptors. gives students It insightinto the whole mathematical system.I like this for children. you have establisheda principleof geometrywhich I hadjust memorized.This family tree activity would definitely help 10th grade geometry students--theyknow isolated facts--theyhave no connectives for the ideas.153 . Videotapedsegmentsof five studentsdoing some of the activities in the Instructional Modules were viewed and students'responses were analyzed in light of these level descriptors. . Teachers' Identification of the van Hiele Thought Levels After the teachershad completedthe clinical interviews. . The family tree is an extremelyuseful way to help studentsdo this. By coloring angles and readingfrom the grid. Hereagainwhen . I never knew whatI was doing in 10th grade--but this is a good way to have students see interconnections.This is definitelyhelpful.The family tree is helpful to show area interrelationships. . they need this type of hands-on experience.

154 differencesof opinionarose,these were examinedandresolvedby referencesto the level descriptors. In addition, the teacher'scommentaryfor each of the sample pages was reviewedto see how the suggestedmethodologyandextensionsrelatedto levels of thought. Inserviceteacherscommentedon theirown experienceswith text materials and expressed an interest in analyzing their current and future text selections in the context of the van Hiele model. The inservice teacherswere also reflective about their own style of teaching and method of questioning in the classrom--openly asking, "I wonder if the way I teach encourages higher order thinkingskills." This follow-up session showedthatall the preserviceand inservice teacherswere learningto identifyvan Hiele levels of thinkingin studentresponses andlevels required the expositionandexercises in text materials. by In the final session the teachersviewed videotapedsegments of four students doing activities from the InstructionalModules. Each teacher recorded (on an Assessment Record Sheet) his/her assessment of the level of thought of each student'sresponses giving some justificationfor the decision (usually citing some level descriptors). The teacherswere also asked to review a set of 10 sample text pages, differentfrom those discussed in the priorsession. Each teacheranalyzed andrecordedwith some justificationtwo aspectsof each samplepage: (1) the level of the expository section, and (2) the level of thought needed for the student to respondto the exercises. An analysis of the teachers'responses relatingto assessing students'level of thinking on videotaped segments when compared to assessments of Project evaluators (staff and consultants) showed an 87% agreement. When a similar comparisonwas made for assessing the level of text exposition and text exercises, the agreement between the teachers and Project evaluators was 78% and 84% respectively. Therewas no patter of commonerrorsin identifyinglevels in either situation. These results indicatethatpreserviceand inserviceteacherscan learnto identifyvan Hiele levels of thinkingin studentresponsesand in text materials. Implications for Teacher Preparation and Classroom Practice In the clinical interviews, many teachers indicated that much of their prior learningof geometryhad been by memorizationand rote. It was their view that and coursesshould teachereducationand staff developmentprograms mathematics experiencesto help them providepreserviceand inserviceteacherswith appropriate gain insight into concepts and make orderlyprogressto higher levels of thinking. They indicatedthatdoing the Projectactivitieshad given themsuch experiences. A primary goal of teacher preparationprograms is to have mathematics teachers of develop an appreciation the deductivenatureof mathematics. A program,such as thatdevelopedby Musserand Burger(1988) at OregonState University, which levels and phases--shouldprovidea good the incorporates van Hiele approach--its model for teachersto use in theirown teachingof geometry.

155 The teachersemphasizedthe majorrole that the concreterepresentational materials (providedin the Project'sactivities)had played in helping them think intuitively aboutconcepts and in assisting them in gaining insight (the AHA phenomein endorsement the hands-onvisual of non). They were unanimous theirenthusiastic concreteapproach developinggeometricconceptsfor studentsin grades6-9. to The teachersrecognizedand appreciated structure the Projectactivities the of which led the student to higher levels of thought, (i.e., materials that can lead studentsto experience topics implicitly at one level and then explicitly at the next higher level). They found the "family tree" approach, while challenging, an effective way of developing thinkingabout interrelationships.The teachers also recognizedthe essentialrole of languagein each of the levels. The teachers in this study consideredtheir experience in learning about and using the van Hiele levels to evaluate student performanceand text material an importantaspect of teacherpreparation. They explained that they could now use this model to identify and analyze thoughtlevels in theirown classroomquestioning, in students'responses, and in curriculummaterials. They believed that a would assist them in planningactivities, knowledgeof the van Hiele level hierarchy and in writing exercises or questions requiringdifferentlevels of thought. They recommended that this type of experience be included in teacher preparation programs. Several findings of the Projectlead to practicalimplicationsfor the classroom teaching of geometry. One finding was that many sixth gradersreporteddoing relatively little geometry in school. In fact, several seemed to be "geometry deprived." This suggests thatgeometryis simply not being given due emphasisin the classroom. It is one of the step-children the mathematicscurriculum of which tends to be dominatedby the computational strands. Studentcommentsdocument this regretablesituation. For example, "Geometry what a substituteteacherdid" is or "Geometry we usually do thatin June." The responsibilityfor covering the ... prescribed geometry curriculumis the teacher's,but it is shared by the school curriculumcoordinators,mathematicssupervisors,and the school principalwho need to oversee implementation this curriculum. of Anotherfinding was thatstudents' learningoften involved a reductionof level. Forexample,most studentsin this studyknew arearulesonly by rote. Some triedto recall (ratherthan think out) what their teacherhad told them about the subclass relationshipbetween squaresand rectangles. Thus, when geometrywas taught,it to appeared be mainly at a recallor knowledgelevel. Thereare severalreasonswhy teaching only for recall or rote learning should be avoided. First, such teaching prevents students from engaging in appropriate thinking about geometry topics. For example, students are simply not learning much geometry if they memorize relationshipssuch as "all squaresare rectangles"and "areaof a rectangleis base times height,"withouttryingto explain them, at least intuitively. Second, students

156 tend to forget or confuse memorizedinformationand are often unable to apply it, especially in non-routinesituations. Third, reductionof level conveys the metacognitivemessage thatlearing geometryis just a matterof memorization.This, in turn,preventsstudentsfrom even wonderingif propertiesare true,and if so, why. Teachersin gradesK-4, which deal traditionally with level 0 thinking,should for providechildrenwith a varietyof experiencesthatlay the groundwork thinking about shapes in terms of properties. One way is to encourage children to use appropriategeometric language in expressing their ideas. Children should be exposed to challenging, interesting, constructive geometry experiences which elicit such language. Examplescan be found in the literature tangrams, on naturally tessellations,symmetry,constructionsof geometricpuzzles, etc. Teachersshould accept children'snon-standard languagein initial lessons (e.g., "even"for parallel; "corer" for angle) but gradually wean them from it to more precise language, especially when non-standardlanguage can lead to confusion. The notion that geometry is something to explore, discover, and explain ratherthan to memorize can be developedeven at level 0. To developlevel 1 thinkingchildrenmustbe given many opportunitiesto work with collections of shapes--to discover propertiesof classes of figures,to exploresubclassrelationsand to formulategeneralizations. These suggestions also apply for teachers in grades 5-9, which treat level 1 of thinkingandeven level 2 for some topics such as angle sums, area,andproperties shapes and definitions. Teachers here should also be careful about the use of quantifiers(all, some) which are needed for level 1 work. Gregory and Osborne (1975) found a clear correlation between the frequency of seventh grade mathematics teachers' use of conditional statements (e.g., "if-then")and their students'understandingof logical statements. They point out, "Studentsneed to modeling from teachersas well as ample opportunities use logic and language" (p. 37). Havingstudentsexplaintheirchoice of "always,sometimes,or never true" for a propertyascribedto a shapeis an effective way to do this. Asking studentsto tell how they would check this deals with the methodologyof level 1 (i.e., inductive thinkingbased on a class of shapes)and can focus theirattentionon metacognitive issues of level 1, namely, what is expected (i.e., to discover relationships, properties)and how to solve the problem(i.e., by testing various cases). Similar recommendations applyfor level 2--forexample,askingstudentsto explainwhy the sum of a rectangle is 360? (not just asking for the sum) and then having angle students think about the explanations given. These suggestions point out the importanceof teacher questioning in directing the students' thinking. Raising and appropriate questions,allowinga sufficientresponse-time discussingthe quality of the answersaremethodsthattake into accountlevel of thinking. The above discussionindicatesa need for preserviceand inservicepreparation in contentandpedagogyrelatedto the van Hiele model. Suchpreparation assist will teachers in developing geometry lessons that encourage students to think at progressivelyhigher levels.

CHAPTER 9 TEXT ANALYSIS Goal One goal of the Projectwas to study Americangeometrycurriculum (K-8), as evidencedby text series, in the light of the van Hiele model. Questionsinvestigated by the Projectwere: (1) Whatgeometrytopics are taughtby gradelevel? Does the selection of topics indicatecontinuityof instruction richnessof geometryexperience? and (2) At what van Hiele level are geometry curriculummaterials at each grade level? (3) Is the van Hiele level of material by sequenced gradelevel? (4) Are therejumps across van Hiele levels, eitherwithin a gradeor from grade to grade? of (5) Is the text presentation geometrytopics consistentwith didacticprinciples of the van Hieles? (In particular,how does text presentationof content strandscoveredin the Project's modulesrelateto van Hiele'stheoryandto the resultsof the clinical study?) Procedure The Project selected three commercial textbook series (K-8), published in 1980-81, for study. Criteriafor selection were frequencyof use both in the United States (as reportedin the Science EducationDatabook, Directoratefor Science Education, National Science Foundation, 1980), and in local Brooklyn school districtsfrom which studentswere to be drawnfor the clinical study (as reported by mathematics coordinators). In general, geometry materials intended for the average studentwere reviewed, althoughactivities for an enrichedprogramwere also noted. The text series selected offer a varietyof supplementary materials,for example workbooks or duplicating masters for reteaching, extra practice, enrichment, laboratory explorations. Using different selections from these materials, teachers can structurevery different types of learning experiences for their students. However, each series claims that the students'text and teacher's edition used alone can provide a complete mathematicsprogram. Since many teachersand studentssee no moreof a series thanthe students' text, it was decidedto edition. analyzeonly this and the teacher's

formulating . Lesson aims were classified as and being concernedwith: (a) developmentand practiceof vocabulary("identify" "name"--ingeneral level 0). All of the above-mentioned editionwere examined. notes on teaching and guiding discussion. challenges)in lessons in othercontentstrands to provide a change of pace. (b) developing concepts (classifying. Thus when van Hiele levels of directmeasurement. etc. It appeared the minimum level of thought with which a student could complete the page (correctlyrespondto all questions). These levels may differfor a given text page:for example.) and the tests includedin the text. and it is often the case that related exercises can be done correctlywith minimalgeometricthought--that by relying is.many lessons in the geometry assign strand concern the application of formulas. For some exercises it is not appropriate a level of thinkingin geometry. supplementary activities. but sometimes single ones) accompaniedin the teacher's edition by lesson plans." "unassignable and The two levels of thoughtrequired students("minimum" "maximum") by sometimesdiffer fromthe van Hiele levels of two additional aspectsof the text:the teacher'sedition (aims. many lessons concerntechniquesof thangeometricthinking. and incidentally. in a lesson on word editionprovidescommentsandteachingsuggestionsfor all problems. but in the exercises studentsare asked only to name figures. the Projectundertookan analysis of the type and extent of geometryvocabularyused at each gradelevel. For example.but rather useful to considerboth the studentreadingit or the teacherteachingit.158 Geometryarises in the students'text in four types of formats:in full lessons (usually double pages. an attemptwas made to assign a level to a text page.when in the exposition shapes are defined in terms of properties(level 1). complete with objectives. The teacher's of these formats.which include ways to enhancethe and aspectsof both students' teacher's geometrystrand. projects. In orderto addressthe first questionabove.in smallerinserts(puzzles. leadingto a measureof the richnessof geometrypresentedand the consistencyof a spiralapproach.and also overviews or backgroundfor geometrymaterial. some pages fit into a category geometric thinking level of thinking. and sometimes special sections of activities.brainteasers. This attempt led to recognitionof how differentaspects of a page can have differentlevels.for example. It is not the text page which has a level of thinking. which included a listing of geometry vocabulary by grade level.and the maximumlevel at which the exposition was written (the level of thinking requiredto completely understandall of the exposition).and challenges. Also.some supplementaryworksheets for practice or enrichment. rather are assigned to text pages. in full page activities without accompanying objectives. labelled as laboratoryactivities or as recreations. on algebraicor arithmeticprocedures. which they can do with no referenceto to properties.simply "by eye" (level 0). To answerquestions(2)-(4) above. This study was similarto Soviet researchon the applicationsof the van Hiele model to their curriculum.

"byeye. (c) developingrelationshipsamong concepts and properties--in properties (in general level 2).threegeometrycontentstrands(chosen for relationto the contentof the Project'sinstructional modules) were reviewed in detail for the three series. Also noted were instructional proceduresappropriate the level 0 studentaccordingto van Hiele--such as physical manipulation andpresentation conceptsin real worldsettings. if all will diagramsof squareshave one side horizontal. 6)." and for whom descriptionsof shapes in terms of propertiesare inappropriate.159 general level 1). but they do not necessarily reflect all levels of thinkingarisingin the exercises (probablybecause the higher level questions are often labelled as optional. The Project examined diagramsfor level 0 introductionof shapes for features such as inclusion of multiple orientations and for non-examples.then this characteristic be includedin a level 0 student's idea of a squareregardless whatthe text of page says..(g) explorationor recreation. Do the text materialsencouragethis recognition? Forexample. The suggestions in the teacher'seditionmay promotea much richerexperiencefor studentsthancan possibly be given by a few text pages. Examplesof questionssuggestedby the van Hiele model follow. but also how the van Hiele model can influence evaluationof textbooks. ruler and compass). (a) For studentsat level 0. (f) practicing and applyingformulas. are studentsled to discover/formulate propertieson theirown. In orderto answerquestion(5) above.g. whose thinkingaboutshapesis global. or only for the most able students). and (h) testing. The results are summarizedin a later section of this chapter. and guidelinesfor class discussionmay allow for development of a higher level of thinkingthan the text page. Howeverchoices of instructional materials have differing potential for such implicit . is the visual informationgiven in the text adequate? For example. (e) developing and practicing techniques of direct measurement. Test questions usually are drawn from the exercises in the lessons of a text. (d) constructions(e. of fromlevel 0 to level 1 is the recognition (b) A crucialaspectof the progression of propertiesas characteristics classes of figures (not tied to only one of specific figure). The Projectconsiderednot only how the text series could be describedin terms of van Hiele levels. Thusone can choose 2. teaching materials for a level 0 student which allow the implicit developmentof relationswhich will be formalizedlater. concerningthe consistencybetweentext and presentations the van Hieles' didactics. and on the basis of manyexamples? If a property a shapeis developedon the of basis of only one example.it is not clearthatlevel 1 thoughtis involved. (c) Van Hiele claims that implicit in each level are thoughtprocesses which becomeexplicitat the next level (see Chapter p.

etc. ITEMS ON DATA SHEET B for (and etc." Diagrams: suggestion physical manipulation. where it exists but is not noted. whether memory. level2.) The back of the sheet was used to note any other occurrences of geometry ideas in other parts of the text. level 1. patternfinding. logical ordering.g. Data Sheet B was designed to be used for each grade level. Data Forms and Their Analysis Two types of data sheets were used. or in small set-off sections (e.analogy. orof "undetermined of at level" Levelof testquestions (whenapplicable) reference "real to of for correctness.verbal recall.). For example. applying formulas. For each full text page containing a geometry lesson or activity the following aspects were noted. on students askedto explain. not in background material for the teacher.) Pagenumber whether optional.on reduction level. discovery. Aim(usingclassification described above) and introduced used Vocabulary Maximum of exposition level Minimum level:percent exercises level0.. Notation was made of ways in which the notes in the teacher's edition suggest different entries in the above data sheet than the student's page alone. enrichment. with lessonsconcerned identification shapes. of of and inclusion non-examples multiple orientations Are the by Properties/Relationships:thesediscovered/formulatedthestudent?--on basisof howmanyinstances? several Are of considered? Are properties thesameshape ordered? properties logically in of on on for Spacewas also provided comments. and provided space for noting use of vocabulary at each grade level.160 experiences. (Record was made only of material in instructional notes. the proposed lesson plan might suggest a higher level of thinking than the text exposition. Data Sheet A contained a listing of geometry vocabulary used in grades K-8. and where opportunities are missed. puzzles. particular logicalsequencing concepts. . world. of of statements. The Project decided to look for materials in the texts which point out such potential to the teacher. riddles. and also to note by grade additional geometry resources in the teacher's edition. thought are on processescalledfor (visual diagrams. gapsin levels. either incidentally. and brainteasers).on correctness/completenessdefinitions.

the four color map problem. for The contentsof the completedDataSheets A were compared the threeseries extent and reoccurrences geometryvocabularyused. center of gravity of a triangle.by incorporation physicalmanipulation real world images. further characterization the texts was obtained. To provide a context for the later discussion. pentominoes. The . Items on Data Sheet B were tabulated gradelevel.level. afterdiscussion. and introducing many concepts which arenot mentioned in the other two series (for example. Series A offers a rich variety of geometry experiences. curves of constant width). .by maximumlevel on the textpage.but excluding the developmentof direct perimeter.for each grade. This techniqueof examiningtexts was also discussedwith Project analyzing of consultants (JohnDel Grande. devoting the greatest percentof pages to geometrictopics. and style of presentation. By summarizingcommentson thoughtprocesses called for. of and These datawere compared the threetext series to determinesimilaritiesand for differencesamong the series--inextent of geometryinstruction. angle measure. In case of disagreementon a text page." ing those measurement topics commonlyincludedin the "geometry area. While one researchercompleted all data sheets. a third staff memberwas consultedand in most cases. of Findings Description of Text Series The three text series examined share many features. andapproved theiruse in texts. A count was of by tabulating made for each text of the numberof pages primarilydevoted to geometry(includsuch as strand.the following countsof lessons were madeby text series: . . For by example.by categories of aims.161 Pierrevan Hiele examinedan initialformof the datacollection sheets and their use on samplepages duringhis visit to the Projectin 1982.by minimumlevel of thinkingrequired complete 100 or 75 percentof the to exercises suggestedfor averagestudents. other Project staff verified sample sheets and notations for particularpages which exemplified common characteristicsof the texts. .KathleenHart)andotherresearchers the van Hiele model at professionalmeetings. a brief of description each series is given here.all staff membersagreed of on assignments level. volume. yet also differed in importantcharacteristics. .by gaps in level amongpartsof the text page. of measurement length).

geometricpuzzlers.which often provide level 1 experiences. When a count was made for each grade level. The text includes manymathlab activities. but seldom are they used in the examples in a non-trivialway. Finally. Series C sharesmany of the characteristics Series A (presenceof real world of applications. Howeverexpositiontends to remainat level 0.e. Exposition is often at level 1.) The summaryof Data Sheet A showed that there is general is.in identifyinga squareas a non-rectangle). but lacks the rich variety of geometry topics covered. students may not get a visual image of the concrete models. ratherthan relating significantly to the content. Students are not often asked to go beyond direct perceptualexperience to make to generalities. There are fewer opportunitiesfor geometric exploration unrelatedto acquiring skills (of measurement formulaapplication) or thanin the othertwo series.andmanyopportunities relategeometricfacts logically aremissed. In the upper grades especially.as well as incidentaluses of geometry in a varietyof real world contexts. Physical manipulationis edition. sometimes with exercises to match. especially identification of shapes. are especially in the uppergrades. and measurementof perimeter.) Logical relationships not exploredin general. However lessons tend to requirea higherlevel of thinkingfromthe studentsthanthe othertwo series.and so unless the teacherprovides suggestedin generalonly in the teacher's supplementarymaterials. this series provides level 1 or even level 2 exposition. Illustrationsoften seem to play a decorative role. and angle. to Results of Analysis of Data Sheet A Geometry Vocabulary. teachersrelying on this resource. Below are listed topics on which the series essentiallyagreed(i. therewas no more thanone omissionby one series over the grades indicated.suggestion of manipulativesin the studenttext. Some illustrationsare of "realworld" settings. and a greatdeal of physical manipulation suggested. consistencyon scope andsequenceof majortopics--that those thatarecoveredon the summarizingtests. exploratorylessons). throughoutthe series.althoughthe topic may have been introducedearlierby just one series). volume. and most exercises are at level 0 or are of unassignable level in geometry. the numberof topics coveredby at least one of the series increasedsteadilyfrom 11 for to Kindergarten 121 in eighth grade.. (A total of 152 topics were identifiedin all of the texts reviewed.area.162 presentationof many topics includes photographsor diagrams of manipulative is objects. This was the only series surveyed to ask studentsfrequently explainan answer. but studentsare seldom askedto formulateideas. thereare severalcontenterrorsin the answersprovidedin the teacher'sedition (for which may cause a problemfor example. . Series B has the least variety of geometric topics. (An exception to this generality is provided by some of the masters in the teacher's edition intended for "enrichment".

B.6).7.5) Scaledrawing (7.8) Intersect (5.Measuring protractor.3).Cylinder (5-8) Quadrilateral.Rectangular Triangular Parallelogram.Lineof symmetry Lines in Parallel a plane(5.5).8.8) Circles Radius(3. C).6. corresponding angles(7.-) Alternate interior.Isoscelestriangle.8) Trigonometric (4. exterior. prism(4-8) Rhombus.1. Square.3).-) Polyhedra Vertex.2).1.4.Pi (6.8.Face(3.7. Equilateral Scalene. together with the initial grade of introduction for the three series (in order.3) Congruence: Similarity: of figures(3.7. of figures(3.8) Congruent triangles Theorem (7.1) Symmetry: of figures(3.1.7. Diagonal (6.3. Perpendicular (5.in space(6.7) Triangles (8.Edge.Vertex(5.Skew(6.8) Pythagorean ratios(8.163 Identification of shapes: Circle(K-8) Triangle.5.4). Polygons Segment(2.6) of sides(7. Octagon. cylinder Angle: (4-8) Meaning Rightangle(4-8) with Acute.6.6. Pentagon.3.2).5.8. Circumference (6.4).Diameter (4.Arc (4. Hexagon.7. their properties.5. triangle (8) trapezoid Surface (6-8) area Volumeby counting (3-6) Volumeby formula: (7-8) rectangular prism(5-8).7.7. (1-8) Rectangle and Polygon. Below are listed some such topics.7).6). circle(6-8). (5-8) Anglesumof a triangle (8) Anglesumof a quadrilateral There is much more variation in scope and sequence of topics related to parts of shapes.obtuseangle.6.-.Side (4. rectangle.5) Euler's formula (5. and relations among properties. triangle.4).7) Indirect measurement (6.4). series A.5).8) . Cone. Regular polygon(6-8) (7-8) Trapezoid Measurement: Perimeter (4-8) Areaby counting (2-6) Areaby formula: (5-8).3.4. parallelogram (7-8). A hyphen "-"indicates that the topic was not covered in any grade.8.of angles(7.5.

Ruler and compass constructions series A. and in grade 7 in series C. the two-dimensionalplans of the solids are provided).it is reviewed each successive year. and in eight successive gradesin the other. except for the "exploratory" topics (such as cross-sections of polyhedra. However. explanationof angle sum of a triangle. A count was made of each topic/grade level entryin which only one seriesappeared.polyhedra(in particular.for the most partthe level of thinking remains the same. In general. octahedron. spirals. spiral. SeriesA providesmuchmoreexposureto unusualgeometrytopics andSeriesB much less. Series C omits namingthe regularpolyhedra. and Series C had 7.164 There is considerablevariationin the treatment transformational of geometry. These numbers reflectthe inclusionof morerecreational topics in series A and C. Anotherexample is providedby symmetry. For example.inside/outside/on. dodecahedron.and series B omits all of these solid geometry startin grade5 in series B.optical illusions. prisms and pyramids)are introduced in grades 4-5. in these cases. About 80%of the topics identifiedare coveredby all series in some gradelevel. and series C in 5. Series B covers slides. seriesB had 2.angle sum of general polygons. and maybe counting faces. in grade6 in topics. and thus studentsmay not be requiredto increase their geometric of understanding polyhedraor their ability to visualize them.estimation of irregular areas Series A appearedin 11 such entries. and first grade questions remarkablyresemble fifth grade questions on this topic. Series A had 14 such topics. series B in 1. Solid geometryreceives similarly varied treatment--in case series A has the most complete coverage. cross-sections of polyhedra.in this respecta count as simple as the one on Data Sheet A does not revealthe whole story. edges andvertices. including this identificationof generalprismsand pyramidsand the five regularsolids. and series C only mentionsslides andflips briefly in grade7. and for the remainingyears surveyed continue to be mentioned. This was demonstrated analyzing by the summaryfor Data Sheet A as follows. Early work focuses on classifying and naming them.the polyhedra may only be mentionedas a context for applyinga formulafor surfaceareaor volume by substituting values into algebraicexpressions (in some cases. By grade 8. skew lines.tetrahedron. the series agree on major constructions covered.rotationalsymmetry). convex/concave. But by the latergrades. golden rectangle. once a topic is introduced. While this topic is mentionedin five successive gradesin two series. turns and flips consistently in grades 4-7. straightangles. Thus.These topics were: kite. repeatedoccurrencesof the . with Series C being in the middle. This was demonstrated a count by for each series of the numberof topics introducedbut not returnedto within two years. mazes. while series A touches on one or two a year in these gradesand all threein grade 8.parabola. and more thanhalf of the ones omittedby at least one series are "recreational". rotational symmetry. icosadedron.

Series C includesan averageof two per grade. is consistentlybelow averagefor seven of the grades1-8. series A has considerablymore than the average number of geometry pages in four of the grades 3-8. (Van Hiele refers to this process as "reduction level. brainteasers. Results of Analysis of Data Sheet B Number of Pages Devoted to Geometry.. and containsno recreational pages. Aims of Geometry Lessons. All series include. The series also differ in the amountof geometryarising incidentallyin the texts. The objectives provided in the teacher's editionsof text seriesaregenerallytied to test items. Series B includesmanyfewer in geometry. in addition.165 topics may represent a "circular"rather than a "spiral"curriculum. The lessons which were classified in this way do not lead studentsto formulatepropertiesin general. or "findthe measureby applyinga formula" level).such as counting square level). etc. as a regularfeature of the text page. one dramaticdifference among series is in the inclusion of geometry activities for which no learningobjective is given and/orfor which the most appropriateaim appears to be open exploration or recreation.in series C the lessons aremore likely to relateto otherpartsof the geometrystrand. corers devoted to puzzles. 241).one might not expect either text objectives or tests to indicate thinkingat level 1 or 2. It is a fairly simple matterto teach a child a numberof manipulative structuresthat enable him to reduce a high-level problem to a lower level of thinking"(van Hiele. and thus are at level 0.Even withoutcountingthe many recreationalpages.algorithmicskill will suffice to solve them. he continues. Series C lies in the middle. Series B. p.andto have potentialfor level 1 thinking. (unassignable As noted above. thus level 0 or unassignable level). 1957/1984.some types of insight "cannot of adequately be assessed by means of test-papers.g. and this expectationis confirmed in the series examined. (Results of the analysis of test questions are describedlater. The series do vary considerably in the numberof pages devotedto geometry. In units--"unassignable" grades 4-6 there is.problems. on the other hand. while Series B offers only two in all seven grades. Series A includesan averageof eight of these per grade. or "measure" (directmeasurement."For this reason.) In all . In series A and C these are frequently geometric.) The instructionalaims of lessons in the grades K-3 text series examined are predominantly "identify" or "name" (development and practice of vocabulary--level0). ruler and compass constructions--donealgorithmically. Van Hiele statesthat"ifthe test problems cover a limited field of acquirements. (However. and this patternis followed in all three series.with a highernumberof pages in grades2-4.an increasein aims of the type "draw" (e.") Thus. A more meaningful descriptionof spiralling of curriculumis obtainedby examining the level of thinkingrequired togetherwith the topic count.

The characteristics hold true for grades 7-8.as will be discussedlater. Direct measurementtechrole niques play a much less important thanin earliergrades. or in the lesson plan recommended the teacher's No text page in gradesK-6 of the series surveyedhas as an aim for studentsto relateproperties logically. of noted above for gradesK-6 and "reduction level" is common.but a largenumberof lessons are still devoted to identifying and naming geometric figures.does provide masters in the teacher'sedisome experiences of this sort through"enrichment" tion.the . one can assign levels to variouspartsof the text page. not entirely reflect the level of thinkingin the text presentation. Series A or containedsix lessons with aims relatedto level 1 thinking(developingproperties series B and C both containthree.the relatedtest questions)are so overwhelminglyat level 0 or of unassignablelevel in gradesK-6 does not necessarilyindicatethatelementary school studentsare exposed to no level 1 thinking. The developmentof logical reasoningdoes not appearto aim be an important in teachingelementaryschool geometry.the statedaim might be to a formulaor to measure.) apply Van Hiele Levels of Text Materials.) The aims of over half of the geometrylessons in each series concernapplication of formulas. in a lesson where studentsfill in a chartcontainingnumthe bers of faces. and that in this chapterthereis one which turnsout to be unrelatedto geometry. The sixth gradetext to of Series B providessupportof this statement. while series B contains none and series C contains two.the teacher'sedition points out that special activities relatedto "Logical the Reasoning"are includedthroughout series. In the introduction the chapteron geometry. As discussed above. a page in the geometrysection labelled "Be Reasonable" refer to reasoning about geometry. edges and verticesof polyhedra. students identify of may well be askedto notice patters or generalcharacteristics shapesin the expoin edition. The curriculumin grades 7 and 8 offers many opportunitiesfor developing but generalpropertiesand informallogical relationships. (Thishappensoften in series C in the uppergrades. but rather to checking reasonableness of numericalresultswhen applyingformulasfor areaand perimeter. Howeverthis count of aims does relationships). The fact thatthe statedobjectives(and. and all testing is on this level. For example. most of these are missed. five were intendedonly for the most advancedstudents. For each grade level andeach series. statedobjectiveof the lesson is to or count these aspects. (However series B. a "brainteaser" turs out not to same text. and of these. or ruler and compass constructions. sition of the text page.166 of the series in GradesK-6 only nine lessons were foundwhose statedaims were to formulateproperties(level 1). that is the level of thinkingrequiredto understand "maximum" all of the exposition on the text page. In the such activity. in particular. However. Table 5 (on the next page) summarizesthe level of text pages.because even in are lessons wherepropertiesor relationships developed. Series A again containsby far the most recreationalor exploratoryactivities (over twenty related to geometry).

it is probable that neither student nor teacher will worry about understanding the expository parts of the text. Thus Table 5 should be compared to Table 6 (on the next page). Series A tends to include more entirely level 0 lessons throughout the grades (in particular. however. the large numbers of recreational activities). Assignment of level followed the Project's level descriptors. As compared to the work of students (grades 7 or 8) reported on in Dina van Hiele-Geldofs thesis. or giving directions for a construction with no attempt at generality or explanation are here classified under level 0.167 Table 5 Percent of Lessons at Maximum Level 0. who may complete exercises correctly without following the text. As long as a student is getting correct answers to exercises. Lessons concerning techniques of direct measurement. which shows the minimum level of thinking required to do the exercises. or for the above-average student are also counted in. From Table 6 one can see that a level 0 student could do very well in geometry as evaluated by the exercises in series B. The second column shows the corresponding percent when exercises for enrichment. If discussion of aspects of a figure involved only what could be seen on the page. In the third column. Table 5 does not necessarily reflect the level of thinking of students using the text. if statements referred to a class of figures. Level of thinking required to follow the lessons increases gradually. . The first column shows the percent of exercises at level 0 or "unassignable" when only the exercises recommended for the average student are considered. the figures in parentheses are the percent of pages where at least 75% of the exercises for average students can be done with the lowest level of thinking. For each series there are three columns. level 0 was assigned. 1 or 2 is shown. level 1 was assigned. 1 or 2 Grade K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0 100 100 100 95 96 71 80 58 66 Series A 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 4 0 29 0 20 5 37 20 14 Series B 0 1 100 0 100 0 100 0 88 12 71 29 65 35 55 45 67 33 29 68 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 Series C 0 1 2 0 100 0 0 100 0 0 100 0 0 92 8 0 75 25 85 15 0 0 60 40 0 43 57 19 63 18 percent of pages with "maximum" level 0. little level 2 thought is required here. This table indicates that the exposition in the three text series follows a fairly consistent pattern. Entries show the percent of pages at each grade level which can be done with geometric thinking of level 0 or of "unassignable" level. Level 2 was assigned only if some logical relationship between geometric properties was discussed.

Enr. onlyexercises in also "enrichment" and intended Entries columns headed Enr. No level 1 geometry questions appeared in the end-of-book test. there is very often a list of names provided to choose from. The only exception was in the grade 8 text of series C. 75% K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 100 100 100 95 100 94 80 92 89 100 100 100 95 100 94 66 92 89 SeriesB Av. Here 24% of a mid-chapter test consisted of level 1 questions relating to properties of shapes.g.) A level 0 student could do well even in the "enriched program" in series A and B. for aboveaverage Entriesin columnsheaded75% show the percentof lessons whereat least 75%of the for students be doneatlevel 0 or "unassignable". 100 100 100 100 100 88 100 100 100 7 100 100 100 100 86 88 (94) 95 93 93 Enr. Only in series C would such a student frequently be given exercises which required a higher level of thinking. or identification of a figure (e. . can exercises average Series A and C both require a certain amount of level 1 thinking." at level 0.. Note: Entries columns headed include Av."). ruler and compass constructions).e.. it is often easy to make judgments "by eye.g. but in a diluted true-false format.168 Table 6 Percent of Lessons with Exercises All at Level 0 or "Unassignable" Gade Series A Av. The end-of-chapter test contained about 5% level 1 questions. substituting values into an algebraic expression for area) or a procedure (i. "List the letters of figures which show parallel lines. This table would be a very simple one! Almost no test questions were found in the three series surveyed which could not be done with level 0 thinking. because without explanation. and concern inclusion relations. Many questions require only a yes or no answer. (The only exercises which required level 2 thinking are in series C in grades 4 and 7. 100 100 100 100 80 96 100 78 78 Series C Enr 75% 100 100 100 100 70 96 96 52 59 (100) (100) (83) (97) (91) (95) (96) (83) (81) in intended theaverage for student. If students are asked to name a figure.. This is especially true in the test questions. This characteristic is related to the lack of level 1 thinking in the exercises. Analysis of Test Questions. or else with rote learning of a formula (e. exercises students.include exercises. A third table which should be included at this point is one showing the level of test questions by grade level. One feature all of the grade K-6 texts share is the scarcity of questions that require a sentence for an answer.

if one judges by the minimumlevel required completeexercises and test questions to relatedto geometry. startingonly in grades 7-8.169 Summary: Van Hiele Levels of Texts. for .referenceto "realworld"models. There is some level 1 thinking." involvement the of studentsin theirsurroundings a way which helps them to form geometricconin cepts. and suggestion of physical manipulation. Question (4) concernedjumps across van Hiele levels. who are particularlydependenton visual impressions. Various characteristics of text diagrams were noted in the study. and it is apparentfrom the above tablesthata greatdeal of elementary school instruction involves level 0 thinking. materialin the exposition of the texts is in general sequenced by level. a pictureof a quilt with congruentand similar triangles. is Characteristics of Diagrams.g. As for the sequencingof geometrymaterialsby level of thinking(question(3)). The next sections consider aspects of texts relevantto question (5)--whether text presentation consistentwith didacticprinciplesof the van Hieles. The most significant expositionis at a higherlevel than jumpsfound were withina text page. It is especially appropriate examine to these aspects of text presentation for students thinking at level 0. If studentscan completeexercises and tests on a topic at level 0. but with no reference to this aspect). But this question is not relevantto considerationof exercises and tests as there is so little progressionhere beyond level 0. Therewas not much differenceamong the series: the averagepercentof lessons at each grade level for which significantreal world images were noted was 24% for series A. Students will presumablyencounterdifficulty with a secondaryschool geometry course at level 2 if they can successfullycompletegrade8 with level 0 thinking. trees which are equilateral could evoke many geometricconcepts. In response to question (2) materials. including correctness.g. However. All of the texts include illustrationswhich are meant to refer to common objects. averagestudentsdo not need to think above level 0 for almost all of their geometryexperiencethroughgrade 8. Thereis very little level 2 thinkingexhibited in the texts. even if the exposition is at a higher level. Van Hiele emphasizesthe importanceof a "globalstructure.but sharea generalpattern.often objectsare takenout of context.. However.or objects in the drawings look distorted to show neat geometric shapes (e.it was found that concerningthe van Hiele level of geometrycurriculum the text series examineddiffer somewhat. 17%for series B and 20% for series C.from grade3 on.. trianglesor circles). In many cases the teacher'seditions suggesteduse of the students' environment developinggeometryconcepts. Sometimesthe artwork but is not referredto in more thana trivialway in the exposition(e. it is increasingly likely as students progress throughthe grades that there will be a significant jump in level from their own in previousexperiencein geometryto what is required the text exposition. Frequently exercises.

or collections of shapesto be sorted. geoboards. when these suggestions were also counted. The accompanying lesson. (In both series.the drawingshowed it in a curvedposition. Seldom used were materials such as geostrips. when rectanglesare first mentioned. in which physicalmanipulation was strongly suggested on the text page was 52%. but artworkor directionscan stronglysuggest physical manipulation."or are any examples without right angles identifiedas not being rectangles?) All threeseries have examples of such lessons where misconceptions could easily be formed due to omission of . For example.which allow studentsto explore. One example drawnwas a kite made of a series of circlesjoined in parallelplanes. Third grade teachers are directed to that a line has arrowsat both ends"(as opposed to discussing this as a "emphasize of characteristic the symbolfor a line). However. acrossgradelevels. In series B. blocks and sand for volume measurement." Such confusion between a three-dimensional object and the symmetry. the above averages were closer to the figure for series A. For series B and C the figures were 21%and 19%respectively. tracing paper.Series A used such artworkor directionsmuch more frequentlythanthe othertwo series.variousshapesof tiles.label one.can studentsassume that they need only have "twolong sides and two shortsides. The averagepercentof lessons. protractor. Howeverthe teacher's editionwould often suggest a manipulativematerialwhen the text page did not. compass and straightedge.thuspreparing level 1 thought. constructand arriveat their own discoveries of propertiesof for figuresor of classes of figures. rulers. a lesson on symmetry in the grade 2 text of series B concernedstudentsflying kites. to label the other. (For example. This type to extremelyprocedural approach a concept. The van Hieles also emphasizethe importanceof having studentsphysically manipulategeometricmodels. Studentswere asked to identify symmetrickites. The grade 8 text of this series provided a similar example. two-dimensional drawingof an objectis a commondifficultywhen texts use visual of representations the real world.) The materialssuggested includedpaper (folding and cutting). in which the text identified a two dimensional while a similarreal cup would have a plane of pictureof a cup as "unsymmetric.170 Occasionally the attempt to include visual references to the "real world" backfires. certainlysymmetricin its usual flying position. in which students aretaughta four step procedure make a line segment(marktwo points.rather of lesson might suggest reductionof level. The diagrams in level 0 lessons dealing with identification of shapes were examinedwith regardto the inclusion of non-examplesas well as examples. Of course the printedpage cannotprovide a model itself.so the kite was identifiedas unsymmetric (which would surelybe confusingto a studentwho had actuallyseen such a kite). there are also examples of the confusion of a concept with its symbolic representation in a diagram. where conceptformationis reducedto a matterof makingandrecognizingmarkson paper. mirrors. use a ruler to connect the points). provides an example of an thanan intuitiveone.

or frequently more..lines of symmetrywhich are always horizontalor vertical.examples. . the text states the property.rather of thanas attributes a particular of example. Again. for a rectangle:length. only one instancewas discussed when a propertyor relationshipwas introduced.171 non-examples. Sometimesthe studentis asked to fill in blanks relatedto a figure (e. Series C containedthe most lessons where multiple orientationswere introduced.perhaps Formation of Properties and Relationships. altitudesdrawnin. . .parallel lines always represented line segments of the same length.polygons which are alwaysconvex. To reach level 1. In general. . area). conceptssuch as these.the Projectnotedexamplesof students' faultyformationof basedon similartext presentations.rightangles or righttriangleswhere one side is always horizontal. In its clinical study. the text authormight see the one example as a general instance (at level 1 or even 2) but the studentmight see it as the object of studyitself (at level 0). vertically. and then asks studentsto verify it in one. and the text will then state the relationshipand then ask for application of the . width. . Some common examples of lessons lackingvariationson a conceptwere: . or by formingsides of a rectangle. .it is probablethat a gap in communicationwill occur--thatis.bases always horizontal.triangleswhich are alwaysacute.andhave no very small angles.or triangles)whereone side is always horizontal. . students must recognize properties as characteristics classes of objects.trapezoidsalways drawnwith parallelsides horizontal. all series containedexamples wheremisconceptionscould easily be formed. Sometimesstudentsareaskedto makedecisionsaboutexamplesin exerciseswithout information being provided in the exposition. For most importantproperties. Lessons concerned with shape identification were also examined with respect to the inclusion of multiple orientationsor other variationsof a figure. . especially in series B. If a propertyis discussed in the context of one diagram.squares(or rectangles.prismsandpyramidswith bases alwayshorizontal. This is a significantpoint in the consideration a text in the light of van of Hiele level theory.in applicationsof the area formulafor triangles. however. series C has more pages which include non-examples.g.

The texts surveyedcompletely miss this potential. The exceptions to this patterntend to be in the "recreational" geometry topics--thosewhich do not appearon tests. it is entirely naturalfor students to form the incorrect definition of rectangleobservedso often in the clinical study. the propertiesof the diagonalsof a rhombusrelate to the constructions of perpendicularbisector of a segment.both in the studentpages and in the are teacher'sguide. Studentsarenot askedto considerwhat steps as line segmentsmustbe congruent a resultof construction circles. whetherexplicit or implicit.the text presentations were consideredin the light of the Project's researchinto the van Hieles' own instructional procedures. Also therewere few examplesof methodsof presentation reasoningis possible implicitly. Euler'sformulafor polyhedra). The topic of rulerand compass constructionsis especially interestingin this regard. The threestrandswill be discussedseparately below. For example. angle bisector. and to perpendicular a line througha point. The K-8 text series examinedcontainedvery few examplesof level 2 thinking. Properties and Relationships among Polygons It is interestingto examinehow text series handlethe relationbetween squares andrectangles. no squareswill be shown. This continuesuntilthe text has presented squaresandrectanglesin termsof properties(grades 3-4). and which are labeled as optional (for example. give little help. even in the teacher's Text Presentation of Three Content Strands. with no logical connections.rhombuses)underlie the constructions. texts. The individualconstructions in generaltaughtas a sequenceof to follow.so often misunderstood upperelementaryschool students. A mathematicallytalented student may form these but relationships guide. andhence are by unlikely to recognize that certainshapes (isosceles triangles. Of course if squares are omitted from all examples of rectangles. For each strand. Therewere very few examplesof relationships among wherelevel 2 properties.172 formula. (Of course such propertiesof a rhombus are not developed in the text series surveyed. as Related to van Hiele Didactics One further of aspectof the text analysiswas a detailedexamination the content strandscorresponding the three instructional to modules developedby the Project.) Seldom are constructionsrelated even to other constructions. Series B is long sides and two short sides" in additionto the standard .that is.and those developed in the Project's materials. rectanglesmust have "two properties. and that their properties are related to the results of the construction.because it can provide such a rich area for developing relationships. Some by series scrupulously wherethe issue arisesin earlygrades:if students avoid situations are asked to identify rectanglesin a Grade 1 text in series C. independently.

all rectanglesanother.or even of a rectangleas being composedof two adjacent squares (how should one color this?). for studentsmay memorizea sentencewhich they do not really understand.circles and rectanglesare used. and nowhere(in eithertext pages is or lessons suggestedby the teacher'seditions) are studentstold what a "degree" is. and the to answers provided indicate that multiple answers are not intended. since they need never respondin exercises at a level above "it looks like"(level 0) or by counting/measuring aspectsof an individualfigure. studentsmay never have achieved level 1 thinking aboutthese shapes. Series C was the only one to attempta full andcorrectformationof the concept of rectangle in Kindergarten. No series providesmany examples of congruent angles which appearquite different (for example. series C contains a similar activity in the grade 2 text. . there are tests of Basic Skills in a multiple choice formatat variouspartsof the text.teachersare told to writethis fact on the board. (A non-square rectangleis also included.rectangleor square" identify given figures. Dina van Hiele-Geldofsuggeststhat"angle" a difficultabstraction form is to at level 0. The text treatmentof inclusion relations sometimes suggests that different minds were at work producingdifferentaspectsof the series. and so one might say that the level 0 developmentof this concept is lacking. (In fact in her thesis. subsequent Development of Angle Measurement and Angle Relations for Polygons The three series are consistent in providing some informal work with angle (recognizingright angles "byeye" or superpositionof a squarecorer. One questionasks "Whichis a rectangle?" a and squareincluded among the possible answers is markedincorrect." and.173 careless in this regard. Howeverin the exercisesfor this lesson students are asked to "writetriangle.) Use of a protractor taughtby rote.when in a story it is pointed out that squares are indeedrectangles. in addition. An exampleof this is providedby the Grade3 text of series B in materialconcerningthe relationbetween squaresand rectangles. comparing angles with right angles) in the grade 4 texts. studentsare askedto measureandcount sides of a squareand rectangle. and in introducingmeasurementof in angle with a protractor grade5. andso thereis no conflict. but here only triangles. But this approach not followed in grades 1-3 in this series. By is grade7 all of the seriesexpect studentsto be able to identifysquaresas specialtypes of rectangles. Yet. providing situations where a square is definitely not identifiedas a rectangle. The accompanying lesson plan instructsthe teacherto "besure studentsunderstand every squareis that a rectanglebecauseit fits the definitionof a rectangle.) In a laterlesson. In this case the artworkprecludesrecognitionof a squareas a special type of rectangle. in general. studentsare directedto color a pictureso that all squaresare one color. and they are not expected to interpret or apply it in exercises.as describedabove. In an activityin the grade2 text of this series.and the text states definitions. For contrast. First. in length of sides). This lesson suggests a reductionin level.

Series B does require an advanced eighth grader to apply the procedure of a subdividing polygon into trianglesto find angle sum of a decagon. All developmentof this propertyis by experiment(except for in the grade8 treatment Series C). and arrangingthem on a straightline.but emphasisis on the numericalaspects. usuallyby one or both of the following methods: and with a protractor adding. For example.the grade7 text does have some level 1 or 2 questionsfor advancedstudents related to angle sum of a triangle.or by cuttingout a triangle. The developmentof this topic in the threetext series differs significantlyfrom the developmentrecommendedby the van Hieles.series C offeredthe highestlevel of thinking. Chapter 14). and in this Project'smodules.many opportunities missed for level 1 development. the SeriesA andC introduce sum of anglesof a trianglein grade5. First. The objectives given in the texts for the lessons concernedwith angle sum of trianglesare for the or most part"tofind a missing angle of a triangle" "tomeasureangles of a triangle. andSeriesB does this in grade6.all level 0. no logical use can be made of these relationships. the lesson on angle sums of polygons is placed before one on angle relationshipswhen parallel so lines are cut by a transversal. namely. allowing little opportunityfor generalization. a level 1 activityof findinga patternafterfilling in a chartfor angle measuresof polygons of variednumbersof sides. the angle sum of a quadrilateral is developed by measuring and paper-tearing fact experimentsimmediatelyafterthe corresponding for trianglesis reviewed."The experimental techniquesused to establishangle sum in the text seriesprovideno such structure. afterwards proof is given by arranging elements of the structurein a logical way" (See Dina van Hiele-Geldofs thesis. so the proof when finally given is not basedon and .test questionsresemblethose in the otherseries. and the proof is readfrom the grid using the languageof "saws" and "ladders. In all series. However.174 of thatis. In grades7 and 8 of Series A.andstudentsmay easily do this task while confusingangle with areameasure(as was foundin severalclinical interviewswith ninthgraders). (Since measurementof a straightangle is omitted before this latter experiment.tearing measuringangles off the corers. where triangles are presentedin the of structure a grid. the van Hieles propose presentationof the materialin a structure--"When proof is given in the right way. While the is angle sum of a quadrilateral includedonly as an additional activityin the teacher's edition. "Can a right triangle be equilateral?"The grade 8 text provides a level 2 exposition of the angle sum of a and triangleusing angle relationshipsfor parallellines and a transversal.it is especially likely that studentswill learn the propertyby rote. In grade 8 of both Series A and B.but no logical connection is drawn." are andit is only these skills thatare tested. the the result is first readfrom a structure. An example of this is given in the technique used by Dina van Hiele-Geldof. Forthis contentstrand.since the text usually formulatespropertiesand does not requirethe studentto try a numberof examples.) Usually the experimentis performedno more than twice. thereis no development the conceptof a unit of measurefor angle.

175 priorimplicitexperience. The van Hieles explicitly recommendagainstthis heavy relianceon measuringor cuttingandgluing as techniquesin learninggeometry. Development of Measurement of Area Measurementof area by counting square units is introducedby Series C in Kindergarten, series A in second grade,andby series B in thirdgrade. All series by continueto provideexamplesof findingareaby counting(for example, "howmany little squarescover this shape?") subsequent in time grades. Grade5 is the standard to intoduceformulasfor areaof a rectangleand righttriangle,and grade7 for area of a parallelogram. The three series agree on the way of introducingthe area formulas. After much experienceof countingnon-rectangular shapes made up of squareunits, students count a few rectangles,and then are shown the formulato summarizethe result. The meaning of multiplicationis not explicitly referredto; ratherthe exposition jumps from a "fourrows of five" type of language to the formula. (The resultsof the Project'sclinical study indicatethat some studentsdo not relateareameasurement a rectangleto a model for multiplication, hence of and do not really understandwhy they should multiply, beyond "it gives the right exercises involve substituting values into the formula. answer.") Thereafter, The same patternis followed for area of a triangle and parallelogram. The exposition may include a level 1 developmentof the formulas,but the exercises involve only applicationof the formula. In most cases the altitudeof the triangleis for provided(with no excess numbersincluded--except four examples in grade8 of series C) and so studentsneed never think of the meaningof altitude,and will be likely to make errors in finding the altitude if it is not provided. The Project's clinical study confirms this. Studentsare never asked to explain the formula,or even a procedure for finding area. While the exposition may explain why the formulas give the correct area, the exercises do not encourage thinking about logical relationshipsbetween the formulas, nor are alternateways to derive the formulasconsidered. In summary,this topic provides many examples of reductionof level since studentscan easily do all the exercises correctlyby memorizingsome facts thatthey may not understand. Objectives related to area seem to be predominantly applicationof formulas,and seldom includedevelopmentof the meaningof area,or explanationof the formulasor relationships amongthem. Implications The consideration levels of thinkingin the contextof geometrytext materials of is a timely one. Data from the Second International MathematicsStudy (a crossnationalanalysis) indicatethatthe performance Americanjunior and seniorhigh of school studentsin mathematics mediocre--slightly is above averageon computation,

176 but "well below averagein answeringmore sophisticatedquestions, such as word in 23, problems"(Reported The New YorkTimes, September 1984, page 30). This thatstudentslack higherorderthinkingskills, which may be relatedto the suggests van Hiele levels of thinking. The average Americanachievementin geometry is instruc"exceededby 75 percentof othercountries."Since the text is an important tional tool in Americanclassrooms,this text analysis might have implicationsfor of ways in which to improvethis unsatisfactory performance Americanstudents. The results of this text analysis have implicationsin three general areas:for further research into curriculum materials, for the design of text and other curriculum materials,and for classroompractice. Implications for Further Research into Curriculum Materials This study focused on the geometry strand in the text series. It would be interesting to find out if the characteristicsfound in this strand held for other strandsin the mathematicstext series. In particular, the level of thinkingabout is numerical of low, and is reduction level as common? topics similarly This studywas limitedto threemajorcommercialtext series publishedin 1984. Differences were found among the three series. Further researchmight indicateif the range of characteristics these series are typical for other commercialseries. of Have calls for changein texts in recentyearsproducedany changesin the aspectsof texts examinedin this study? Are therenow any commonlyused text series which involve more level 1 and 2 thinking,and which are more consistent with the van Hiele model thanthe ones surveyed? In particular, wouldbe interesting look at it to some of the more innovative,thoughless frequentlyused, Americantext series. It would also be valuableto look beyond text materials,to the many other resources for teaching geometry available to teachers, for example, sets of activity cards, enrichment masters, teaching guides to accompany commercially available geometry manipulativematerials. Foreign text series might also be examined. Most interestingwould be to examine the texts writtenby Pierrevan Hiele himself (availableonly in Dutch at present),and also Soviet texts which were revisedbased on van Hiele principles. Implications for Design of Text and Other Curriculum Materials Perhapsthe most significantimplicationsof this study of text series lie in the area of suggestions for design and revision of geometrytext materials. Textbook authorsare, of course,undersevere restrictions when it comes to writinggeometry material.Only a set numberof pages can be devotedto the geometrystrand, the and natureof the printedpage makes certain types of manipulativeexplorationsand discoverylearing difficult. A text page can only suggest, but not dictate,use of a material. Even if an authorwould like to have studentsdiscoverand manipulative formulateproperties,thereis a need to have a text summarizeresults,and students

177 may easily learnhow easy it is to look aheadfor the answerto a challenge. Perhaps these considerationssuggest that teachersshould look beyond a text for geometry instructional materials,to activity cards,or sequencedworksheets. However, even within the context of a textbook, this text analysis does provide suggestions for textbook authors who wish to develop curriculum materials which are more consistentwith the van Hiele model of thinkingin geometry. First,the teacher'sguide might be more explicit in identifyingvan Hiele levels of partsof the text, and in helpingteachersplan instruction fill in levels and lead to to a higher level of thinking. Textbookauthorsmight considerusing the structure of van Hiele's "phases" a guide in planninginstruction. as More attention should be given to selection of visual examples in lessons care shouldbe takenthatstudentsnot form involving level 0 thought. In particular, incorrectconcepts (such as those listed on page 158) based on a too limitedrangeof examples. Also more care could be takento build up and use the student'sglobal structure which these conceptsarise. in This text analysis noted a deficiency in level 1 thinking, especially in the exercises and tests provided. More opportunity should be providedfor studentsto advance to and use level 1 thinking. In particular,students should be led to formulatefor themselves, on the basis of many examples, propertiesof classes of figures. Exercises and tests should reflect this type of activity, so that studentsdo not become accustomed to reduction of the level of thinking, and so that they develop a new view of whatthey arelearningabout(thatis, notjust namingfigures, but observingand comparingcharacteristics, looking for generalproperties). and When level 0 understanding geometryis being developed, presentation of can be designed in ways which incorporate the types of propertieswhich will implicitly be developed by level 1 thinkersexplicitly. For example, level 0 thinkerscan be asked to constructsquaresfrom a collection of sticks of variouslengths. While this task can be done at level 0, purely "byeye," therealso arises implicitlythe basis of propertiesof a square,since studentsmust select sticks of equal length, and must adjustthe corers to make rightangles. (This sort of approach might be contrasted with one which dependson a student's identification a squarefroma set of figures of on the printedpage.) In the uppergrades,wheremorepotentialfor level 1 thinking was evident in the text exposition (if not in the exercises), text writersmight look ahead to the ultimate goal of level 2 thinking, in selecting geometry experiences which incorporateimplicitly (for level 1 thinkers)relationshipswhich might be formulated explicitly lateron (by level 2 thinkers). Examplesof how this might be done for the topic of angle sum of a polygon are provided in Dina van HieleGeldofs thesis, and were discussedhere in Chapter 3. The clinical study conductedby the Projectindicatedthat students'inabilityto advancein level of thinkingmay be relatedto theirdeficienciesin language--both in

178 knowledge of geometryvocabulary,and abilityto use it precisely and consistently. The text analysis indicates that studentsdo not receive much help in developing languageability from theirtexts. A suggestionfor text writersmight be to include more questions that requireuse of expressive language and spontaneousrecall of geometryvocabulary(e.g., "describethe sides of this figure"ratherthan "identify which sides are parallel"),and also questionsthat requireformulationof thoughts into sentences(e.g., "explainwhy... "). Text authorsare underpressurenot to exceed certainreadinglevels for each grade. It is possible thatthe readinglevel criteriaappliedto texts rule out some of the language structurerequired for higher level thought (for example, use of quantifiers,and "if. . . then" constructions). If this is the case, a serious issue arises--whether readinglevel criteriashouldbe allowed to so influencethe level of thinking in geometry exhibited in the text. Text authorsmight consider ways in which language can be modified to reducereadinglevel but not to reducelevel of thinking. Implications for Classroom Strategies The resultsof this text analysishave important implicationsfor classroomuse of textbooks. First,teachersshouldbecome awareof the potentialgaps in level in partsof the text page, andof the low level of thinkingwith whichmost exercisesand tests can be completed. They should be especially alert to the possibility of reduction of level. If teachers have a choice of texts, they might consider the alternativeswith these points in mind. But if there is no choice, teachers can develop classroom strategies to help students to get as much as possible from availablematerials. Some suggestedstrategiesaregiven below. (a) Do not rely on a text to fill in the levels. Use texts as a follow-up to more exploratoryactivitiesin geometry. (b) Encourage students to talk about geometric concepts, and to develop thanjust expressivelanguage. Thatis, ask themto describea figure,rather to select a namefor it froma list. of (c) To help studentsfill in level 0 understanding geometric concepts, the teacher should be alert to possible misconceptionsformed as a result of limited visual examples. Textbookpresentations be supplemented can by models andexamplesin the environment. manymanipulative the (d) To help studentsprogressto level 1 thought,the teachercan supplement one or few examplesin the text developmentof a property encouraging by students to test many examples, with drawings or manipulatives, to determineif propertiesare trueor false.

The teacher is the key to effective classroom use of the text. especially for beginning teachers. However the texts surveyed are lacking as instructional materials for helping students develop higher levels of thinking." (f) The teacher can revise or supplement tests to reflect higher levels of thinking. the teacher can raise the level required in many routine exercises by asking "Why?". and the teacher must supplement and modify existing texts in order to help students fill in and progress through the levels. The textbook is an important tool. .179 (e) To help students progress to level 2 thought. or "Explain your answer. and even a guide.

the Project's of "a student'slevel of thinking. While these students'"entry" level of thinkingmay have varied across topics. Results discussed in Chapter7 thinking about students'levels of thinking and factors affecting their levels relate to this aboutthe fourmajor implications generalissue." Then. In fact. and 2 with which this study dealt. researchcontexts. level of Findingsof this study also bear on the questionof whethera student's thinking is consistent across different topics. 1. Results supportthe fixed-sequenceaspect of the levels. in level descriptors. however. (1983) for pre-serviceteacherson seven differenttopics andby Denis by Mayberry (1987) who assessed PuertoRicanhigh school studentson four topics in interviews using tests developedby Mayberry. theirlevel of thinkingafterinstruction seemed to be consistentacross Similarresultsaboutvariationin "entry" level across topics were reported topics. dependingmainly on theirprevious school experiences with those topics. the highest level of on thinkingattained a studenton one topic was also attained othertopics. This is by not to say. This chapter discusses implications of the study and presents questions for further research. as might be expected for an initial investigation of the model. was or by . and the implicit-explicit discontinuity natureof thinkingat adjacentlevels.1986). betweenlevels. high school students(Denis. In general.Whetherthese differencesacrosstopics persist afterinstruction not investigated Mayberry Denis. many students who entered Module 1 showing some level 1 thinking for some topics needed to do instructional branchesin the modules on othertopics. the meaning and the particular. 1987.Usiskin. Studentswho performedsuccessfully at level 1 or 2 also performedsuccessfully at lower levels. and pre-serviceelementaryteachers(Mayberry. filling in their level 0 and 1 thinking. 1982). some directlyrelatedto this studyandothersset in broader Implications about the Levels the This study examinedthe validity of the van Hiele model for characterizing in geometry of sixth and ninth graders. at least for levels 0. suggestionsare given for futureresearch. First. Similarsupportfor the hierarchial natureof the levels has been evidencedfor K-12 students(Burger& Shaughnessy. there are theoretical implications about the model itself. The Project in the United Stateson research ground addressedsome general questions about the model but in turnraised many more questions. In addition.1983).thata studentdidnot need to begin at level 0 or level 1for a new topic after having performedat level 1 or above on other topics.CHAPTER 10 IMPLICATIONS AND QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH This Projectwas one of several undertaken duringthe early 1980's thatbroke relatedto the van Hiele model.resultshave theoretical characteristics of the levels: their hierarchial or fixed-sequence nature. featuresof the levels. languageaspectsof each level.

However. Change seemed to take place throughan "oscillatingprocess"--invan Hiele terms--between levels 0 and 1 until objectsbecamebearersof properties. Resultsof this of studyaremixed on this point. Students' thinking about geometricobjects "changed graduallyfrom a more global perceptiondetermined by to appearance a more and more detailedvisual descriptionin terms of properties" (p. under guidance of the interviewer. Also. some sixth graders(GroupI) appearedto be level 0 thinkerswho thought of shapes in terms of their appearance a whole and were unable to analyze them in terms of as theirparts. seemed to preferthe relativesafety of level 1 reasoningand tendedto avoid deduction. Transitionwas also observed between levels 1 and 2 for some sixth graders (GroupIII) and most ninth graders(GroupsV and VI). Although the progress of subjects in this study appearsin some ways to be continuous. 45).but the jump to giving informalarguments (level 2) seemed beyond their capabilites at that time. 1983). not see any need for such arguments. 45). but BurgerandShaughnessy (1986) also detected transition betweenlevels 1 and2. these observations may not reflect continuityin learningbut rathercontinuityin teaching (Hoffer. Results for other studentssuggest that movementbetween levels proceeds in small steps. However. Some students"oscillated fromone level to anotheron the same taskunderprobing from the interviewer"(p. Some were unable to follow and give argumentsand. Also some sixth and ninthgraders(GroupsII and IV) showedprogress to level 1."if conflict occurred betweenthe visual and the analytic levels of reasoning(levels 0 and 1). They also noted that observationsof thoughthey transitional thinking may suggest that the levels are "more continuous in nature than their discrete description would lead one to believe" (p. Shaughnessyand Burger (1985) also found studentsin transition. Some showed "flashes of level 2 reasoning . Some sixth gradesseemed to be in transitionbetween levels 0 and 1. Performances some studentsindicatethatthey are at a plateau for a level and cannotprogressto the next level. They dealt with shapes in terms of properties and sometimes gave informal argumentsrelating properties such as simple subclass inclusionsand chainingarguments involving saws/ladders. 423).. usuallyas a resultof probing. the visual usually won" (p.. some were able to follow or give deductivearguments did so with little convictionabouttheirnecessity. For severalstudents. the students made incrementalprogress in learning and using new .181 The van Hieles claimedthatthereis discontinuity betweenlevels.even knew it was available"(p. 174). Transitionin thinkingwas also observedby Lunkenbein (1980) in a teaching experiment on polyhedra with 10 and 11 year-olds.sometimes they lapsed into explaining by examples. [but]left to theirown devices. 45).. but dealing with familiarshapesin termsof properties then lapsing to level 0 when confrontedwith unfamiliarshapes. That is. they did not consistently give deductive explanations. did perhapsmore importantly.. it may in fact be discontinuous. For example.

a gap still existed in their ability to initiate these processes spontaneously. V. In additionto identifyingdifferencesin languageinvolving geometrycontent and logical relationships.now I can see what I'm supposedto do here"experience. For example. 1958/1984. in a later of activity. 231).g. p.for level 2. However. at the same time.182 concepts and in makingjudgmentssuch as testing if propertiesapply to unfamiliar shapes. subsequent A fourthcharacteristic the model is thatlearningon a level involves making of explicit what was learned implicitly in the preceding level. via saws or ladders). Understandingand self-initiation of higher levels of thinkingmay come suddenly--inan "Aha. Shaughnessy and Burger (1985) also noted the importanceof language at differentlevels. Herethereseems to be a change in how studentsthinkaboutand approach a problem in geometry--a change in their metacognition: their aboutthe natureof the task and theirbelief aboutwhatconstitutesan understanding response. results suggest that students use language involving metacognitionaboutthe qualityof thinkingand expectationsat variouslevels. Most studentswere able to speak descriptivelyaboutrectanglesin terms of properties(level 1). such languagemight be "Oh.they quicklycheckedby eye.g. At level 1. Many (GroupsIII. althoughthey indirectly touch on metacognitive aspects of thinking..g.it meanta shapethatlooked like Oor ] (level 0). "I should prove this. "rectangle" differentlevels. vocabularyor propertycards. But. This feature was supportedduringthe interviews. right?"or "Ihave to clinch it. some studentscolored equal angles in a grid using an angle tester to check for equal angles (level 0) and.visual family trees representing logical relationships) can suggestsinstruction be designedto overcomesome of these languagedifficulties andto promotethinkingat higherlevels. using expressive language) and had misconceptions about geometric concepts.. Findingsof this study suggest that metacognitive language should be incorporatedmore explicitly into the level descriptorsof the van Hiele model. at level 1. appropriate The assertionof the van Hieles thateach level has its own languageis supported meant different things to students on by this study. the effectiveness of special techniques used in the interviews (e. the student "purposefullylooks for relations" or at level 2. For a few sixth graders.For example. students encounteredvarious difficulties with language (e.some explainedwhy a rectangleis a special or parallelogram why the sum of the measuresof its angles is 360?. For example.VI) were able to fit rectangleinto a logical context (level 2).. recalling geometric terminology. notingpatterns equal angles (e. For example. As discussed in Chapter7. "purposefuldeduction finally becomes a habit of thinking"(van Hiele-Geldof. (See discussion in a section). Their inability to use quantifiersand logical language greatly limited their progresswithin a level or to a higher level.I see a pattern" "Letme see if that always or works"." The van Hieles do not make explicit referenceto such language. Otherstudentsimplicitly learnedthatthe measuresof the angles of a .

Discussions with Pierre van Hiele in June. van Hiele's (1986. as indicatedabove.and theoretical. by discussions with Pierrevan Hiele. level 1to the descriptive. material is presentedin from level 1 to 2.the Project's of the descriptors characterize levels of use to the students' responsesto variousassessmenttasks suggests thatsome descriptors need to be modifiedandthatsome new ones shouldbe addedas discussedbelow. in van Hiele terms. one studentrapidlyidentifiedmanyangles. In summary. ways thatcan impedeprogresstowarda higherlevel.results of this study supportthe four major features of the van Hiele model and suggest. and by the resultsof the clinical interviews. descriptive. Here the Projectcorrelateslevel 0 to the visual. M. or.That the three-level model may not be as sufficiently refined to characterizethinking in geometryas the originalfive-level model is supported this Project's by findingsthat students progressed toward level 2 (informal theoretical) but with no sign of axiomaticthinkingandresultsfromBurgerandShaughnessy(1986) which revealed some axiomaticthinkingof college-level students. in particular Schoenfeld (1986) contends that students develop an inappropriate separationof and empiricalmathematics deductionas a directresultof instruction.183 trianglesum to 180? by using saws and laddersto color equal angles in a triangle grid (level 1) and later by logically orderingpropertiesin a family tree. level 1thinkingdoes not lead in a natural way to level 2.level 3 being axiomaticand formal. 1987 indicate that he agrees with this interpretation. In Module1 studentswereaskedto identifyangles in a picture. However. Of course. 1987) recent characterization of the model in terms of three levels: visual. Most responded at level 0 (descriptor 0-lc) by simplypointingto or tracingsome angles. Implications for Project Level Descriptors and Their Use The Project'slevel descriptors(see pages 58-71) are generally validated by quotationsfrom van Hiele sources (see Chapter4).to includeaspectsof metacognition. and discontinuity language. Furthersupportfor these level comes from comparing themwith the 28 "level indicators" descriptors identifiedby and Shaughnessy(1986) which closely matchor complementthose used in Burger this study.and level 4 involving axiomaticsystems and logic. Moreover. including deductiveexplanationsfor the ordering(level 2). It shouldbe noted that results also supportP.these resultsmay have occurred simply because of the design of the modules which embodied this implicit-explicit feature."Thedialectic interplayof induction and deduction"(p. 242) is lacking. textbook materialsrarelyincorporatethis feature into their presentationof geometry material. That materials can lead students to experience topics implicitly and then explicitly at a higher level is a noteworthy finding with importantimplicationsfor designing curriculum. possible modificationof two features. However.andlevels 2-4 to the theoretical.at times. Accordingto findings from text analyses (Chapter9). saying thatthereare lots of trianglesand .with level 2 involving informaldeductions.

interrelates severalpropertiesin a Descriptor2-2e (gives informalarguments: family tree) was used when students made family trees where arrows meant inferences (i. from informal ones that involve ."Othersbegan with an informal definition of parallelogram and explained why squares had those properties so "must be" parallelograms too. but rather establishedthe relationship empiricially.e. This suggests that a modified version of descriptor0-lc be added to level 1 such as "identifiesinstances of a shape using propertiesof relatedfigures.some studentsdrewquadrilaterals rightangles andobservedthat with opposite sides are equal and parallel. other students gave are responsesat levels 0 and1." This explanationwas interpreted as a variationof descriptor1-5 (discoversproperties a figure). This suggests the need for addinga level 1 variationof descriptor 2-2c. student responses to tasks calling for informal deductive arguments 2-3c) indicatedthatmodificationsof 2-3c are needed. Several said that squareswere parallelograms thatcut-outsquareshad the propertieslisted beside a set of cut-outparallelograms. modifiedversions of it might be added to the listing (e. However. They did not deduce one propertyfrom another(level 2). Responseswith a of deductiveflavor (level 2) variedin detail andprecisionand indicatedthattherecan be a range of explanations for descriptor2-3c. not Since descriptor2-2b did not cover these othercases. For example." empiricallyestablishedrelationships by Finally. However. This latter use of a family tree calls for a new level 1 descriptor such as "to summarize betweenproperties a family tree. This is level 1 thinkingbecauseit is based on empiricalobservations." Responses of some students on class inclusion tasks were matched with 2-2b (gives informalarguments: ordersclasses of shapes). Some responses (descriptor were not at level 2. 1-6c: establishes subclass inclusions by empirically of testingif examplesof a shapehave properties anothershape). One saidthatsquares kites becausehe saw one square sortedin the kite collectionandso concludedthatsquaresarekites. with no appealto after checking properties(level 0).184 each has threeangles--a responseusing propertiesof trianglesfor which therewas no correspondinglevel 1 descriptor.as indicatedby descriptor2-2c. knowing A was true meant B must be true).. opposite sides are equal for parallelograms were at level 2. For example. so were "specialkinds of parallelograms. deduction. However.g. descriptor some studentsexplained that squareshad all the propertiesof parallelograms and some extra ones. other students created trees where the arrow signified a time-sequence for steps in an explanationor a visual summaryfor relationshipsbetween properties. "Ordering propertiesof shapes"is usually associatedwith level 2 thinking.not all responsesto tasksinvolving orderingof properties For example. one studentexplained the area rule for a right triangleby putting togetherpairs of congruentright triangles and observing that "thetwo trianglesmake a rectangleso take half. A studentwho used saws and laddersto explain why was judged to exhibit 2-2c thinking..

so researchersand teachersshould be carefulto assess the "why"of a student'sresponse.althoughaxiomatics andformaldefinitions(level 3) arenot considered. use of the level a descriptorsto characterize student'sthinkingfor a task requiresthatjudgmentbe based on the quality of the student'sexplanation. and pentagons) suggests awareness of the expectationto discoverpatternsor make generalizations (level 1). Studentcomments aboutmonitoringtheir thinkingand planningwere also observed (e. First. van Hiele's (1957. quads. at level 2.. on .g. 205). and when to do it" (p." indicates level 2 metacognitionabout the goal of giving a careful explanationor deduction"(1958/1984. 159). As indicatedabove. Analyses of students'comments about their thinking during the interviews level descriptors addedto the Project's be suggest thatsome metacognitive cognitive descriptors.you probablywantme to see whathappenswithhexagons"(havingfound angle sums for triangles. purposefully looking for relations). "students understand whatthey are doing. p. It is clear thatthe van Hiele theory includesmetacognitiveaspects of thinking (e. "Oh. 225).."). descriptors be misinterpreted. Because of this they know they have to search for relations"(1958/1984. if a person acts adequatelyand intentionallyin a new situation"(1986.such as in problemsolving (Silver. as illustrated throughout this section. proof. A student'scomment. To have insight. Many questions can be answeredcorrectlyon differentlevels. Similar recommendations have been made for the inclusionof metacognitionin models of mathematical thinking. Agreement on interpretationand application of level descriptors is critical for cumulative research the levels. Hofferwrites (1983). A word of cautionshouldbe given aboutthe interpretation level descriptors of and theiruse." He states that "insightis recognized as such. In retrospect. Dina van HieleGeldof might have had in mind such awarenessof expectationon level 1 when she wrote: "Pupilsare at the first level. A student'scomment to the interviewer that"Oh. I need to prove this part and then I've got it. to more "technical" argumentsin which details are carefullydeduced.Two main facets of metacognitionare the student'sknowledge of cognition (e. why they are doing it.. p. additionof descriptors each at level to include aspects of metacognition seems warranted. 1985). p. M. insight.g.g. the on Projectshouldhave includedexplicit level descriptors metacognition.not simply on the answer itself. "I need to clinch it. about the nature of tasks or strategies) and regulation of cognition such as planning and monitoring (Garofalo & Lester.185 some deduction along with some explanation based on observations. which is akin to van Hiele-Geldofs "purposeful 231). 1973. for can Crowley (1987) used examples from this Projectand from Burger's(1982) to illustratevan Hiele levels. These types of descriptorscan be relatedto P. Second. 1986) notion of "insight. The additionof metacognitive descriptorsto the Project'scognitive level descriptorssupportsthe contention that no process model of mathematicalthinking is complete unless it makesexplicit provisionfor metacognitiveaspectsof thinking. 1985).The inclusion of examples can of studentperformance each descriptor preventmisinterpretation.

Otherrecommendations proposedin more generalsettings. to methodologyfor assessingit. Prevost. Usiskin (1982) exploredthe predictivevalidity of the levels for geometryachievement.. 1985. Research on Students' Levels of Thinking Several questions for future research arise from results of the clinical interviews. at were able to attainlevel 1and Findingsthata majorityof sixth andninthgraders even make progresstowardlevel 2 suggestvarioustypes of furtherresearch. First. Questionsto be addressedinclude: Are comparableresults obtainedfor studentsat the threelevels of achievement? Do studentsthinkat a higherlevel in instructional/assessment interviewsthanindicated other studies such as those of Usiskin (1982) and Burger (1982)? What by characteristics the levels are supported?Do students' of levels vary acrossdifferent topics? Follow-up of studentsshould be done to assess permanencyof level on a topic over a period of time. This type of research parallels that in Dina van Hiele-Geldofs doctoral dissertation. reanalysesof videotapesin this studymight examinethe role of metacognitionin a student's interactionson key tasks. Follow-up of these studentsthroughhigh school geometry would be a natural extensionof this type of research. some growing directly from results of this study about students' levels of thinking. Additionalwork of this sort is needed involving correlation level of thinkingwith subsequent of achievement. Replicationmight also explore be done with olderstudents priorto theirstudyof geometry.g. to the originsand growthof thinkingat levels 0 and 1. and instructional approaches fosterhigherlevels of are thinking. which have been targeted for development of activities that promote higher levels of thinking (Shaughnessy& Burger. Results of the clinical interviewsfor below-gradelevel sixth gradersshowed .perhapsto identify just "students risk"with respectto level of thinkingneededfor tenthgradegeometry. in particular. are particularlysuited for such a project. One main recommendation for replicationof the Project's is interviewswith comparable samplesof sixth andninth gradestudents. Assessmentof level of thinkingmight also be done with youngerchildren(grades 1-5).186 Implications for Future Research This section offers suggestions for further research on the model. progress.Such a studymight deal with one of the Project's modules or could evolve into a curriculum development and evaluation project which would examine changes in levels of thinking for several topics. Grades seven and eight. a whole-classteachingexperiment). 1985).especially duringstudent-interviewer Did more directivesaboutexpectationsin tasks and more feedbackaboutthinking result in greater progress in level of thinking? Another line of research is to examinewhetherprogressto higherlevels for a topic can be fosteredin the natural settingof a classroom(e.both involving studentswho made little or no progress at level 0 and those who made significantprogresswithin level 1 and even towardslevel 2.

Availabilityof items for levels 1and 2 would supporttext-basedteachingat those levels. Researchis needed to establishthat a correctanswer to an item does in fact reflect a certainlevel hypothesizedfor that item.187 both low "entry" level and "potential" level of thinking. Researchmust not neglect the newly slow learner. This study'sreview of test items in textbooksindicatedthatalmostall were at level 0 (or reduction level. 1979). Items that require students to explain "why" (by drawings or written explanations)might accuratelyassess level. Levels of thinkinghave been appliedin other subject areassuch as economics andchemistry(ten Voorde.andmodules thatgive greateremphasisto certainvan Hiele more extended phases.g. it may be difficult to determinea student'slevel by means of answersto multiple-choiceitems. Results of this study indicatesome areasfor improvement: development of new topics. in this Project's study younger students. algebra. physics and otherareas. The feasibility of assessing level of thinkingby a paper-and-pencil instrument should also be explored. Van Hiele (1986.. Such an "assessment should include a key for scoringcommonresponsesat appropriate levels which would aid in researchers more reliablyanduniformlymeasuring"entry" level of thinking. Following van Hiele's lead. careful review between sessions. A significantcontribution van Hiele to researchwould be the developmentof an easy-to-useinstrument clinical assessfor ment of a student's"entry" level. The questionariseswhetherthese studentscan fill in thinkingat level 0 and progress toward level 1. more opportunity apply learned ideas duringPhase 5 (Integration). 1987) discussedthe levels in relationto othermathematics topics and other subjectareas. Initialwork on such open-endeditems and on a level-related scoring schema has been done at the secondary level (De Villiers & Njisane. perhapsbased on a synthesis and refinementof some activitiesin this studyandin Burger's kit" (1982). Research Related to Methodology Methodologicalaspects of this study suggest the need for furtherdevelopment of ways to assess students' levels of thinking. state-leveltesting) and classroomteachers. However. or three-dimensional geometry. However. different instructional methods. Construction items that can elicit responsesat various of levels and thatcan be scoredreliablywould be valuableto researchers well as to as evaluators(e. 1987). of recall). options in communication (verbal and non-verbal) and aids to reduce memory demands and to involving new termsduringPhase 3 (Explicitation). . Further research might explore levels of thinking in arithmetic. His currentwork (see Foreword) focuses on applicationsof the levels in arithmetic. given more time during interviews. the modules were not designedfor studentswith severe deficienciesin geometrybackground and in language. researchers might investigate the levels as a more generalmodel of thinking. Because students in this study often responded correctly but at differentlevels to a question. Most researchon the van Hiele model has dealt with topics in plane geometry.

In the particular. level might correlatehighly with measures However. in particular. the Research on Curriculum and Instruction in Geometry The van Hieles formulatedthe levels in response to analyses of their own that teachingof geometry. "tellingwhy. 1986) material on Boolean algebra. Findings in this study show that geometry was a neglected partof the school mathematicsexperiencesof many students. Materialsthatprovidea rich basis for thinkingat levels 0 to 2 shouldalso be examined.it is not surprising resultsof researchon the levels shouldhave implicationsfor researchon classroomteachingof geometry--namely. Researchmight also examine samples of curriculum materialsthat reflect the van Hiele levels andprovideactivitiesfor apprenticeship leading up to level 3. following materialsmightbe studied: Hoffer's(1979) geometrytext DeVillier's (1985.Researchcorrelating two types of assessmentsis needed. These results combined with findings about the students' potential for level 1 and 2 thinkingand aboutthe paucity of textbookmaterialat those levels underscorethe need for researchleading to improvedcurriculum practice. there are other lines of van Hiele research relatedto curriculum developmentandevaluation. so that tests that demandwrittenexplanationsmay be inappropriate assessing for theirlevel of thinking.& Gordon.such as non-traditional text series and supplementarycurriculummaterials in the United States. Researchon innovativetext to series might be undertaken such as Joyce's (1984) study of a unified mathematics program(grade 7) which was found to foster thinking that leads to level 2 and whose sequence followed van Hiele phases. & Stein. the Geometric Supposer software (Schwartz & Yerushalmy.the Soviet Unionwhereduringthe 1960'sextensivechangebasedon van Hiele levels was made in the geometrycurriculum (Pyshkalo.effective measuresof "entry" of "potential" level and hence suffice for many researchand classroom practice situations.188 especially those in grade 6. level merits The use of dynamicassessmentto determine student's a "potential" furtherresearch. Dutch materialsof van Hiele (1976-79) and Goddijn(1980) and materialsby Del Grande (1982). An analysisof some Soviet text materialon geometryfor grades 1-6 is in progressby one of this Project'sstaff members.and what was taughtwas often taughtrotely or required minimalstudentexplanation. in particular.Crabill.1987). had difficulty talking about geometry.1968/1981. curriculumand instruction." Writingan explanationwould no doubtbe more difficult for them. As discussed in Chapter9. Query:Is it possible to assess potentiallevel in less time thanthe six to eight sessions in this study? Design and validationof assessmenttasks and specification of the interviewer's role in them require substantive research.Chazan. Thus. . Currenttextbook and series shouldbe analyzedaccording van Hiele levels. 1985) and materials (Chakerian. 1987.1976). Yerushalmy.Wirszup. The level of thinking of geometry curriculumin other countries also merits examination.

1986) statedthatan important of "the Piagetian part roots of his work"can be foundin the theoriesof Piaget. For example. research on the model from a Vygotskian perspective is suggested by between notions of Vygotsky (1962) and aspects of the van Hiele correspondences model.. Zykova. those who foster higher orderthinking)is anotherrelatedtopic for research. Similar research might also be done with younger and studentsandat levels 0 and 1. One directionis to explorethe model in a context. what is the relationship between Piagetianstages and van Hiele levels? Exploringthis question."The question whether the theories of van Hiele and Piaget belong to the same "research was addressedby Orton program" of (1987) who comparedassumptions theirtheories. M.g. 1986) 2). perhapsusing an observation schedulebasedon level descriptors. uncoveringclues (level 1). 1969b. Such "instructional micro-strategies" such as in a might be incorporated into longer. A synthesisof this Soviet researchon geometryas it relates Yakimanskaya. was largely concernedwith didactics. & Reigeluth. Clinical interviews and long-term "teaching experiments"were contexts for investigatingmathematicalthinking. Furtherresearchmight replicatethis study with studentsprior to their study of geometry. Researchmight explore the effectiveness of specific techniquesfor fostering thinkingon a level such as finding shapes in the environment(level 0). pre-operational concreteoperational Anotherdirectionfor futureresearchon the van Hiele model is suggested by Soviet researchwhich. with most of them attainingonly level 2. both specific and general. van Hiele (1959. One correspondence is between Vygotsky's "zone of proximal . Findings about the interviewer'srole in fostering a student'sthinkingin this study suggest that a teacher'scognitive and metacognitiveteaching moves be examined in relationto students'levels of thinking. She also found significantdifferencesin van Hiele level betweenstudentsat the concreteandformal operationalstages. Anotherdirectionfor research is the examinationof the geometricthinkingin teacher-student interactionsduring classroomlessons. As mentionedin Chapter8. Research in Other Settings The van Hiele model might be investigatedin more generalresearchsettingsin and developmental cognitivepsychology. 1971)). duringthe 1950's and 1960's. thereare also possibilities for relatedresearchin teachereducationsuch as examiningthe effects of preparing teachersto identifythe level of a student's thinkingor text material.e. 1969a.Denis (1987) found that only 36% of studentswho had taken high school geometry had reachedthe formal operationalstage. P. Chao.but he also notedthatthere are many important"disagreements. Identificationof characteristics "expert" of teachersof geometry (i. and building family trees (level (Van Patten. of Also. in particular concept learning and problem solving in geometry (e.. unit-type "macro-strategies" teachingexperimentbased on the van Hiele phases. to the van Hiele model could lead to a betterunderstanding the van Hiele model.189 Researchon instructionin geometry can be built on successful methods and materials in the Project'smodules. Otherquestionsaboutthe two theories arise quite naturally.

" and the Project's "potential" level of thinking. further clarifyingthe model. van Hiele model.190 development. in press) which brought together mathematics educators. interrelated way through small-group work on "carefully crafted activities"relatedto van Hiele levels. the . This could lead to a more detailed cognitive process-based description of thinking of each level. 1985) also uses a geometrycontext for investigation of cognitive theory. On the otherhand. which in turn could be used to explain characteristicsof the van Hiele model and to design instructionto foster higher levels of thinking. & Reiser.the model itself can serve as a contextfor research in an area. As suggestedabove. a Logo of geometricconcepts and of their "pre-proof' program)interpretations thinkingat levels 0. Guckenberg and Sancilio (in press) who suggest how the van Hiele model can serve as a vehicle for research involving constructs in cognitive psychology. providing a source of content-specific verification of more general theories. and 2.g.. M.Boyle. the interplay between instruction and development) can be investigated from more general perspectives..teachers. perhaps examined systematicallywithin a theoreticalframeworksuch as that of Stemberg (1984). cognitive psychologists.geometers. van Hiele himself to share ideas aboutresearchon geometry. Research on using a computer-basedintelligent tutoring system to teach students how to construct geometryproofs (Anderson.and P.Anderson'sACT* model for cognition. the van Hiele model is an appropriate object of study in a varietyof cognitiveresearchcontexts. a verbalproposition)andprocedural (e. One direction discussed previously involves a student's metacognition and level of thinking. On the one hand. various themes and ideas from cognitive psychology provide a rich context for research related to the levels. In van Hiele terms this researchdeals with formal deductive thinking (level 3) and suggests the possibility of futureresearchon similartutorialsto teach cognitive skills at other levels. Initial results illustratehow these interpretations develop in a dynamic. the levels and their characteristics. Future research might apply cognitive process of analysisto performance studentson key assessmenttasksused in this studyor in Burger's (1982). in particular. Findingsalso suggest parallelsbetween the developmentof children'sorganizationof geometricknowledge from a cognitive science perspective and the first three van Hiele levels. for example at a 1987 Conferenceon the Learningand Teachingof Geometry (Senk. 1. Evidence of both types of researchon the van Hiele model are alreadyseen. Finally.. A second correspondenceis between Vygotsky's approachfor assessing a student'szone-and namely within the influence of instruction with die assistanceof an adult--and the Project's level via its instructional-assessment for assessing "potential" approach interviews.g.in particular.g. Their currentteaching experiment in a Logo-based instructional setting focuses on fourth graders' developmentof declarative(e. Another direction is exemplified by the research of Lehrer.featuresof the model (e.

appearsto signal directionand potential for improvingthe teachingof mathematics."by researchspecialists in otherfields. This Projectattempted to shed light on the model andits usefulnessas a paradigm examiningthe level of for of adolescents. The for researchin mathematics van Hieles developedthe model to impacton theirteaching. This researchis needed since the model.and of mathematicstextboook geometricthinking materials. It is hoped thatthe Project'swork will stimulatefurtherresearchon the van Hiele model by mathematicseducation "levelists. However. .researchon it is still limited. with its emphasison developing successively higher thought levels.191 topic Duringthe pastten yearsthe van Hiele modelhas emergedas an important education. and also by teams of these researchers who throughcollaboration can bring their respective expertise to bear on questions of mutual interest.of theirteachers.

. The developmentof geometric thinkingamong Black high school pupils in Kwazulz (Republic of South Africa). Intelligent tutoring systems. D. DeVilliers. 859A. (1984). An investigation of the van Hiele model of (ERIC Document thinking in geometry: Final report.. Relationships between stage of cognitive development and van Hiele level of geometric thought among Puerto Rican adolescents. C. F. not yet assigned. March). Visual influence of figure orientationon concept formationin geometry.) (1985). D. Ontario:The Board of Educationof the City of North York. Del Grande. Journalfor Researchin MathematicsEducation. Brooklyn: Brooklyn College. Unpublishedmanuscript. (1986). 116-123). K. Lesh (Ed.. D. (1979). (Eds. L. M. R. Pleasantville. Crowley. (ERIC Document ReproductionService No.). 307-321). W. D. M. NY: Sunburst. J. [Summary]. D. & Shaughnessy. South Africa: Research Unit for Mathematics Education..). Fuys. van Hiele.Universityof Stellenbosch. University of Stellenbosch. D. B. Burger. Ohio: ERIC. Chakerian... DeVilliers. (1985). Burger. R. Cilley. Using the van Hiele model to describe reasoning processes in geometrv.. & Njisane. In M. VA: NationalCouncil of Teachersof Mathematics. (Doctoral dissertation. (1985). Recent researchconcerningthe developmentof snatial and geometric concepts (pp. L.) . Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conferencefor the Psychology of MathematicsEducation (pp. 456-462.. Qbjectives and assessment tasks related to van Hiele levels and phases. M.LA. Boyle. DeVilliers. (Eds. 228. D. F. ReproductionService No. 31-48. (1987).FordhamUniversity. (1987). Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. M. & Stein.). Brooklyn: Brooklyn College. Stellenbosch. Learningand teaching geometry: K-12 (pp. Geometry: A guided inquiry. Montreal:Universityof Montreal. J. R.. New Orleans. Boolean algebra at school (Vol. (1986). G. J. R. Fisher. Shulte (Eds. (University Microfilms No. (1987). M. City of North York. (1987). 1). Characterizing the van Hiele levels of developmentin geometry. 6-13). Dissertation Abstracts International. D. North York geometry units K-6. 8715795). ED 287 697) Fuys. S. (1982. C. In R. D. Columbus.J. 17. (1978). Crabill. The van Hiele model of development of geometric thought. & Tischler. D. Geddes. (1982).192 BIBLIOGRAPHY Anderson. Lindquist & A. 48. South Africa: ResearchUnit for MathematicsEducation. W. N. Reston. & Tischler. Stellenbosch. F. Science. Geddes. & Reiser. English translationof selected writings of Dina van Hiele-Geldof and Pierre M. Denis. Teaching Boolean algebra along van Hiele lines and using meta-mathematicalperspectives. 1987). M. M.

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