Middle school students’ proportional reasoning in real life contexts in the domain of geometry and measurement

Ayan R., Işıksal Bostan M.

International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, vol.50, no.1, pp.65-81, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier


The purpose of this study was to examine middle school students' proportional reasoning, solution strategies and difficulties in real life contexts in the domain of geometry and measurement. The underlying reasons of the difficulties were investigated as well. Mixed research design was adopted for the aims of the study by collecting data through an achievement test from 935 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. The achievement test included real life problems that required proportional reasoning, and were related to the measurement of length, perimeter, area and volume concepts. In addition, task-based interviews were conducted on 12 of these students to collect more comprehensive data and to support the findings of the achievement test. Findings revealed that although students were mostly successful in giving correct answers, their reasoning lacked a clear argument of the direct and indirect proportional relationships between the variables and that they approached the problems by superficial characteristics of the problems.