Contributed paper list

   (Tuesday 13th, 08:20-09:20)

The concept of mean by primary school students


Gilda Guimarães, Verônica Gitirana, Mabel Marques, Diego dos Anjos


Gilda Guimarães (Brazil)


This research, which was undertaken in Brazil, focuses on the different invariants of the concept of mean. Activities from 16 mathematics textbooks were analyzed, and the invariants explored were identified. Afterwards, a test was designed and later undertaken by 179 elementary school students (3rd and 5th grades) and 31 teachers. The results show that the textbooks emphasize “the usage of mean as a number different from any value of the group” and “the usage of mean with no correspondence on real life”. A lacking on the textbooks' approach of mean was identified, as regarded by the following invariants: “the relation between mean and standard deviation”; “the mean is in between extreme values”; “the inclusion of null and negative values”. Regarding the students’ capacity, the majority of 3rd grade students failed on solving problems regarding mean, and some of the 5th grade students were able to solve problems by compensating values.