The Mayan Activity: A Way of Teaching Multiple Quantifications in Logical Contexts

Every so often, I’ll publicize through this blog an interesting article that I’ve found in the mathematics or mathematics education literature that can be freely distributed to the general public. Today, I’d like to highlight Kyeong Hah Roh & Yong Hah Lee (2011) The Mayan Activity: A Way of Teaching Multiple Quantifications in Logical Contexts, PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, 21:8, 685-698, DOI: 10.1080/10511970.2010.485602

Here’s the abstract:

In this article, we suggest an instructional intervention to help students understand statements involving multiple quantifiers in logical contexts. We analyze students’ misinterpretations of multiple quantifiers related to the ϵ-N definition of convergence and point out that they result from a lack of understanding of the significance of the order of the quantifiers in the definition. We introduce the Mayan activity which is designed to cause and then to help resolve students’ cognitive dissonance. In particular, the Mayan stonecutter story in the activity is presented in an understandable and colloquial form so that students can recognize the independence of ϵ from N in the ϵ-N definition. Consequently, the Mayan activity can be regarded as a useful instructional intervention to study statements related to the ϵ-N definition of convergence.

The full article can be found here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10511970.2010.485602

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: