Situation Analysis: Role Of Visualization Tool In Mathematics

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Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

Situation Analysis
Understanding of a concept begins when one can associate it to an object when he or she hears it other than just focusing on the word itself (Carter, 2009). That object is a visual form, which may be in the form of a picture or a diagram. Visualization aids understanding. It makes overwhelmingly difficult concepts or expressions better to grasp, sensible and internalized deeper. It makes the individual parts understandable and ties them together into a comprehensible big picture (Keahey, 2014).
Visualization, whether diagrammatic, analogic or whatever kind, simplifies multifaceted concepts, facilitates thinking and helps in identifying new pattern. Its usage spans from simple concept mapping
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Visualization is claimed by Yin (2010), a lecturer at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, as the “heart of mathematical problem solving”. The study of Yin (2010), revealed that visualization plays seven roles in mathematical problem solving: that is, it helps to understand, to simplify and to see connections to a problem, it serves as a solution check tool, as a substitute for computation, it caters to individual learning styles, and it transforms a problem to mathematical form. Further, visualization is done to understand and model the problem and to develop a plan to solve the problem (Piggott & Woodham, 2011). Visualization can also be used to teach classic mathematics concepts like primes with a different approach that goes beyond the usual crossing paths with Eratosthenes’ Sieve and it enables students to look into primes in a new light rather than just merely listing and defining them (McEachran, 2008). Visualization is proven to be a crucial element in the learning of mathematics. The study of Park and Brannon (2013) revealed that visualization improved mathematics performance of students significantly. Visual mathematics also develops higher-order thinking skills and creativity (Boaler, 2016). Visualization can be seen not only in geometry and graph theory but also to combinatorics, mathematics logic and other fields of mathematics because they all involve processes and properties that require visual reasoning (Rahim & Siddo, 2009) and most of their content can be communicated through images (Alsina & Nelson,

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