How does Representational Transformation Enhance Mathematical Thinking?

Axiomathes 32 (2):283-292 (2022)
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Representational transformation is a technique for deepening our understanding of mathematical concepts and facilitating the process of solving mathematical problems. This article suggests that representational transformation can contribute to thought processes in four ways. Firstly, representational transformation helps people employ a wider range of cognitive resources. When one representation of a concept or a problem is transformed into another representation, the sensory-motor resources that are involved in the processing of the base representation are employed to process the target representation. Secondly, representational transformation helps in the process of organizing scattered information into suitable units. This gives structure to various parts of information and makes them much easier to handle. Thirdly, representational transformation helps in the process of suppressing irrelevant information and unnecessary elements of problems. This is a key step in organizing and structuring information. Fourthly, representational transformation helps in the process of discovering general rules and turning them into explicit knowledge.



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