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Mathematics problems in blocks: how to write them and why
Karp A. PRIMUS: problems, resources, and issues in mathematics undergraduate studiesXII (4):289-304,2002.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Jun 19 2003

Exercises have always played important roles in mathematical education. In this paper, Karp presents a pedagogical approach for enhancing mathematics instruction using problems in blocks.

By constructing a block of exercises with intrinsic connections and then asking students to work on the block of problems, the author expects to significantly improve students ability to problem solve effectively. After presenting the advantages of block exercises, the author provides suggestions about how to construct and how to use a block of problems. Two simple examples from algebra are presented at the beginning of the paper.

Although this paper did not include experimental data to compare the block approach with other approaches, I believe the approach should significantly benefit both students and teachers in the mathematics learning and teaching process, as the author predicts it will. The approach can also be applied to teaching subjects other than mathematics. This paper is well written, and definitely worth reading for science educators.

Reviewer:  Chenyi Hu Review #: CR127818 (0310-1105)
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