HomeIAMURE International Journal of Educationvol. 1 no. 1 (2012)

The Use of Bruner's Modes of Representations in Teaching Factoring Second-Degree Polynomials

Jerr A. Cabahug

Discipline: Mathematics, Education



In teaching mathematics, one of the common problems of teachers is how to teach unfamiliar and abstract concepts in such a way that the students would make sense of them. One of these ways is the use of the different teaching aids which are reflected in Bruner’s Theory. In his theory, Bruner argued that conceptual understanding could be enhanced if students are exposed to different representations of a concept. In particular, he identified three main types of representations: concrete, iconic, and symbolic. Bruner’s theory stipulates that all three modes can be utilized in introducing abstract concepts for students. Based on this theory, this paper discusses one possible set of activities in teaching the topic of factoring second-degree polynomials. In this set of activities, the students will be taught first to factor polynomials using algebraic tiles which constitutes concrete representation of the concept; followed by factoring polynomials using pictures as iconic representations; and lastly, the students will be taught on how to factor polynomials using algebraic patterns which are the symbolic representations.