Cognitive styles, dynamic geometry and measurement performance
SourceEducational Studies in Mathematics
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This paper reports the outcomes of an empirical study undertaken to investigate the effect of students’ cognitive styles on achievement in measurement tasks in a dynamic geometry learning environment, and to explore the ability of dynamic geometry learning in accommodating different cognitive styles and enhancing students’ learning. A total of 49 6th grade students were tested using the VICS and the extended CSA-WA tests (Peterson, Verbal imagery cognitive styles and extended cognitive style analysis-wholistic analytic test—Administration guide. New Zealand: Peterson, 2005) for cognitive styles. The same students were also administered a pre-test and a post-test involving 20 measurement tasks. All students were taught a unit in measurement (area of triangles and parallelograms) with the use of dynamic geometry, after a pre-test. As expected, the dynamic geometry software seems to accommodate different cognitive styles and enhances students’ learning. However, contrary to expectations, verbalisers and wholist/verbalisers gained more in their measurement achievement in the environment of dynamic geometry than students who had a tendency towards other cognitive styles. The results are discussed in terms of the nature of the measurement tasks administered to the students.