The Effects of Constraints in a Mathematics Classroom

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Patricia D. Stokes


The dictionary definition of constraint is one-sided, solely restrictive. The problem-solving definition is twosided. Constraints come in pairs. One retains its restrictive function, precluding something specific; the other directs search for its substitute. The paired constraint model is applied to both domain and classroom. I discuss the effects of curricular, variability, testing, cognitive, and talent constraints; demonstrate how paired constraints can be used to create a new curriculum; and close with suggestions for using constraints effectively and creatively in the classroom.

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Stokes, P. D. (2013). The Effects of Constraints in a Mathematics Classroom. Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College, 4(2).