Addressing impulsive disposition: Using non-proportional problems to overcome overgeneralization of proportionality
Impulsive disposition is an undesirable way of thinking where one spontaneously applies the first idea that comes to mind without checking its relevance. In this research, we explore (a) the possibility of helping pre-service teachers improve their disposition, from being impulsive to being analytic, in one semester, and (b) the effect of using non-proportional situations. This study involves two sections of a mathematics course for pre-service teachers for Grades 4-8. The lessons were designed whenever possible to elicit students’ impulsive disposition so that they could become cognizant of it and make conscious attempts to overcome it. Some test items were designed to be superficially similar but structurally different to those they had experienced in class or homework. Pre-post-end test results show that pre-service teachers’ tendency to overuse ratios and proportions can be reduced in one semester and that the use of non-proportional problems can minimize impulsive responses.
Kien H. Lim and Osvaldo Morera. "Addressing impulsive disposition: Using non-proportional problems to overcome overgeneralization of proportionality" Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education. Raleigh, North Carolina. Feb. 2010.