2017 Volume 18 Issue 2 Pages 27-38
The objectives of this study were to examine (1) how eighth graders understand formulae and why they are unable to use relational processing of formulae and (2) the effect of a teaching method to facilitate relational processing in learning a new formula. In Study 1, Ohm’s law was used to assess if the students (N = 345) were capable of identifying the relation between formulae and variables, comprehending the formulae, and understanding “the difference between the remainder and the ratio.” The results showed that the students were unable to process variables and they had a limited understanding of relativity and“ the difference between the remainder and the ratio.” In Study 2, the students were divided into an experimental group (N = 198) and a non-experimental group (N = 145). In the experimental group, a teaching method that included operational thinking tasks was used to facilitate learning. The results showed that with this method, most students developed the ability to process variables in a formula, and therefore, it was an effective method for teaching new formulae.