Sixth-grade students’ pattern generalization approaches
Zeycan Kama 1 * , Mine Işıksal Bostan 2, Zelha Tunç Pekkan 3
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1 Ministry of National Education, Türkiye
2 Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Türkiye
3 Department of Mathematics and Science Education, MEF University, İstanbul, Türkiye
* Corresponding Author


This study investigates sixth-grade Turkish students’ pattern-generalization approaches among arithmetical generalization, algebraic generalization, and naïve induction. A qualitative case study design was employed. The data was collected from four sixth-grade students through the Pattern Questionnaire (PQ) and individual interviews based on the questionnaire. The findings revealed that all students generalized near terms using arithmetical generalization as the first step and then they mostly looked for a general rule through memorized procedures by skipping far term generalization. When they found the general rule, far terms were calculated by rote. In other words, students did not generalize the pattern to far terms using an algebraic generalization. The current study's findings would give valuable information to the mathematics educators regarding the necessity of avoiding creating a procedural instructional environment by focusing on the rote procedure of finding the general rule of a pattern. These findings would also expand the horizons of curriculum developers regarding the importance of objectives about both near terms and far term generalization by progressing from arithmetical generalization to algebraic generalization.



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