Variation

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Although often overlooked in our teaching, variation is generally perceived as one of the most valuable experiences within Chinese mathematics education community. Variation is about carefully selecting questions and representations to deepen children’s understanding. It is important to note the difference between variety (change for changes sake) and variation. In variation theory, it is important to think what to keep the same from example to example, in order to highlight what has changed. Over the course of the year, we are running a workgroup exploring variation in the primary curriculum.

“In designing [these] exercises, the teacher is advised to avoid mechanical repetition and to create an appropriate path for practising the thinking process with increasing creativity.” – Gu, 1991

“Variation offers a systematic way to look at mathematical exercises in terms of what is available for the learner to notice.” – Marton, Runesson & Tsui, 2003

 

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