Flexibilidad en la resolución de problemas de identificación de patrones lineales en estudiantes de educación secundaria






The aim of this study is to characterize the flexibility of secondary school students (12-16 years old) in problems that involve the recognition of patterns. Flexibility is understood as the ability to modify the strategy used in solving a problem when the cognitive demand of the task is changed. The methodology used is qualitative analyzing students' answers taking into account two criteria: the correction of the answers and the strategies used and grouping those with similar characteristics. Results indicate three profiles of students in relation to flexibility in the use of strategies and success. The first group is characterized by students who use only a recursive strategy; most of them are blocked when the cognitive demand of the task increases. This group is composed predominantly of students of 12-13 years old. The second profile corresponds to students who change from a recursive strategy to a proportional approximation giving an incorrect result. This is more common in 13-14 year old students. Finally, the third profile is characterized by students who successfully change from a functional to a recursive strategy when the cognitive demand of the task increases. It is more common in older students. We conclude that flexibility to identify patterns is related to the knowledge of the students and to the control and regulation of the problem-solving process when the cognitive demand of the task increases. Furthermore, younger students showed less flexibility than the older ones.

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