Presenter Information

Tom Lowrie, Charles Sturt University

Start Date

17-8-2010 10:45 AM

End Date

17-8-2010 12:00 PM


Representation is an important aspect of mathematics. In recent years graphics representations have become increasingly widespread as society comes to terms with the information age. Although the mathematics curricula have not varied to any recognisable degree in the past decade or so, the assessment procedures associated with mathematics education certainly have. This presentation highlights the changing nature of students’ spatial reasoning as they engage with different types of mathematics representations. A case is presented which describes the shift from students’ use of encoding techniques to represent mathematical ideas to an increasing reliance on students decoding graphical representations constructed by others. The presentation analyses a number of student work samples as they were videotaped completing assessment items from the National Assessment Plan for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Implications from the study include the recognition that students need to acquire different spatialreasoning skills which allow them to consider (and navigate) all the elements of a mathematics task, including specific features of a graphic and the surrounding text.

Lowrie_presentation_ACER.pdf (753 kB)

Aug 17th, 10:45 AM Aug 17th, 12:00 PM

Primary Students’ decoding mathematics tasks: the role of spatial reason


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.