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Making research about open questions

Xavier Bordoy
Date of creation


How I manage the work of doing research work of my students

[This post is part of MTBoS mentoring program (Explore the MTBoS 2015). This is post number #2 and is related to “My favorite” topic (Explore the MTBoS 2016).]

I work in an adults school. My official curriculum (Conselleria d’Educació i Cultura de les Illes Balears 2009) stablishes that my students of the last course, ESPA 4th1, have to make an scholar’s work about anything which “involves mathematical ideas and procedures” and they have to deliver a memorandum of the following process and their main conclusions. The teacher has to guide them through the process. This is my favorite.

When I change from teenagers education to adults school, this was my main challenge. I had not done this before. After two years in the adults school, I can defend myself against this. My main constraint is the time: the time for doing the work is very limited. My course is just 4-month course and I have to teach 3 lessons. So a month per lesson. And we have one month for the work. And they have to redact in a scientific style the work and they usually do not have any idea of how to do it. So, how do I do?

At the end, it is worthy: each student ends with an answer to a question. The answer could be less or more “developed” (with more or less confidence in its argument) but each of them achieve to solve the question scientificly4. The following are the titles of some works (translated from catalan, their original language)5:


Conselleria d’Educació i Cultura de les Illes Balears. 2009. “Ordre de La Consellera d’Educació I Cultura de 22 de Juliol de 2009, Per La Qual S’estableix El Currículum de L’educació Secundària Per a Persones Adultes Que Condueix a L’obtenció Del Títol de Graduat En Educació Secundària Obligatòria a Les Illes Balears.”

Explore the MTBoS. 2015. “A New Exploration!”

———. 2016. “Week 2 of the 2016 Blogging Initiative!”

Wikipedia. 2016. “Education in the United States. Educational Stages.”

  1. which I think it is formally equivalent to 10th grade of USA (Wikipedia 2016)

  2. My students have not written a scientific work. If I want they to write it, they need at least one chance to learn.

  3. I suppose that we have to guide the teenagers…

  4. Obviosly there are students who don’t pass the work, but normally it’s due to their absence of work not due to the lack of reasoning in their argument.

  5. Any mistake with the translation is mine