The complexity of learning fractions on pupils' side has been underestimated. This has caused the traditional approach of teaching fractions to change into a more rigid and rule-oriented instruction. Thus, the teaching of fractions has become even more troublesome and complicated. We pay special attention to the fraction concepts that are taught preceding the teaching of fractions and the concepts that produce fractions. They are schematized based on two aspects: the different meanings of multiplication and Vergnaud's relational calculus on the additive structure. Consequently, we have formed three kinds of operational schema for the concepts. One of them is very useful for the analysis of the research tests and the classroom discussion in the third graders of Japan about the change of fraction concepts.
This paper contains two separate studies, the second one being based on the results obtained in the first one. In the first study, I tested the hypothesis that Japanese students spend more time on mathematics at home than they do on other subjects. Having shown that this hypothesis is substantiated, in the second part of this paper, I tried to ascertain why students spend more time on mathematics at home than on other subjects.
The Japanese 8th grader's data from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) were analyzed to test the significance of urbanization effects on students' achievements, liking, and extra lesson taking of science and mathematics in Japan. Public school data were classified into one of low-, medium-or high-urbanized situations based on the community size. Urbanization effect was operationally defined as the statistically increasing or decreasing tendency in the mean scores of a variable corresponding to the urbanized situation. The results showed that the urbanized situation does not directly relate to the achievement of and the liking for science and mathematics, but relate to extra lesson taking. Student's likes or dislikes for science and mathematics had a strong relationship with their achievements. Relationship of students' achievements and their extra lesson taking was not apparent. Regardless of the urbanized situations, helping students develop a liking for science and mathematics and facilitating their autonomy for learning should be emphasized.
The researcher named the main cognitive aspects of lifeworld practical abilities that ought to be fostered in homemaking education curriculum known as "Lifeworld Practical Wisdom (LPW)." The LPW concept is viewed as shown in the statement that "Wisdom subsuming cognitive processes and its outcomes directed to practice in lifeworld which enables us to integrate subjective living actions." The practical problem based homemaking curricula in the USA which are based on the theory advocated by M.M. Brown are characterized to aim at the formation of LPW. There are differences in real conditions and methods of formation of LPW in these curricula due to living actions viewed to be the most significant from the aspects consisting of purposive-rational action, communicative action and emancipative action. However, each curriculum places a high value on well-being of the individuals and families, special qualities of constructing contents around perennial practical problems in order to confront human life, organizing thinking processes lead to actions, and clarifying the thread of exploring problems through the learning of practical reasoning. These curricula have fostered the acquisition of sound cognitive abilities of the realities of life from a holistic perspective, ethical value judgement and decision making considering the effects on others, and self-formation of individuals.
The purpose of this study is to clarify underlying tendencies of the mistakes which students tend to make, and to contribute to English education in Japan. In July 1998, I did a presentation entitled "A Practical Study of Broadcasting English : Pronunciation Easily Misunderstood by Japanese Listeners" at the WCCI Ninth Triennial World Conference in Thailand. I used TV English news broadcasts in the U.S. as material, and did research on the mistakes students made (Koike, 1999). This is a follow up study, but this time, I used TV English news broadcasts in Japan as material. From the phonetic standpoint of view, I analyzed the data and drew the following conclusions. 1. Because of reduction of a sound at the end of the word, it seems that students tend to confuse a voiced sound with a voiceless sound in normal speech. (ex : "back" and "bag") 2. When two words form a minimal pair, the subjects tend not to distinguish the difference. 3. As a result of flapped [ɾ], students tend to confuse [t], [d]. It can be said that the number of vocabulary needs to be increased and that students need to learn phonetic sound changes found in normal speech (Koike, 1987). I hope this study would be a little help for better English education in Japan.
This study investigates the difference between cloze tests and C-tests from the perspective of sensitiveness to discourse constraints. The following tests were administered to college students (N=65): 32-item cloze test and 96-item C-test. Each test was given in both sequential and scrambled version. All tests were made from one narration-based, 700-word level prose passage, and each participant completed four types of tests. The results indicate the following: First, there is a relatively high correlation between the cloze test and the C-test. Second, since the correlation between the two versions of the cloze test is lower than that of the two versions of the C-test, it can be said that the cloze test is more affected by the discourse constraints than the C-test. The present paper is concluded with an analysis of the difference of characteristics between the cloze test and the C-test.
This paper intends to provide a way of helping students to understand the usage of restrictive and nonrestrictive relative clauses. The method is mainly based on what I feel should be noted in teaching relative clauses through my teaching experience both at senior high school and especially at university. We will consider several important respects in teaching relative clauses from the two points of view: reading and writing.