n Learning and Teaching Mathematics - The development of numeric and geometric patterns

Volume 2011, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 1990-6811


The study of pattern affords opportunities to observe, hypothesize, experiment, discover and create (NCTM, 1989). Patterns are not simply about describing what comes next in a particular sequence, but rather about finding relationships. It is important for young learners to recognize that patterns are predictable, and it is the duty of the teacher to help learners understand and appreciate this predictability. The most important aspect is to generate rules about a pattern and use known information to predict unknown information. Learners need to move from "What comes next?" to analyzing the structure of the pattern (Economopoulos, 1998:296-298). We need to focus on how to develop "functional sense" without simply asking for the "next number" (NCTM, 1998:100-101).

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