Describing the phenomena of students’ representation in solving ill-posed and well-posed problems

Imam Rofiki, Ika Santia


Mathematical representation is an essential aspect of mathematical problem-solving. But students’ ability of an accurate representation in ill-posed problem-solving is still very minimal compared to that in well-posed problem-solving. However, ill-posed problem supported mathematical abstraction used in mathematical concept understanding. This study described the representations used by mathematics education students in solving ill-posed and well-posed problems. Thirty Indonesian matematics education students have solved ill-well posed problems by using think-aloud. Researchers also collected data using a video recorder and a field note. Data were analyzed by a constant comparative method so that it was obtained the different characteristics of representations between solving ill-posed and well-posed problems. The finding of the study showed that verbal and symbolic representations were used by subjects to compute, detect, and correct error. They also justified their answers in ill-posed problem-solving. However, the visual representation was only used by first subject to identify and correct error. The subjects lacked to expose necessary information to solve the ill-posed problem compared to the well-posed problem.


Representation; Problem-Solving; Ill-Posed Problem; Well-Posed Problem; Mathematical Abstraction

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