for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Elise Lockwood - Vol. 34 Num. 2 (2014)
 A set-oriented perspective on solving counting problems


In this article, I present the notion of a set-oriented perspective for solving counting problems that emerged during task-based interviews with postsecondary students. Framing the findings within Harel's 'ways of thinking', I argue that students may benefit from this perspective, in which they view attending to sets of outcomes as an intrinsic aspect of the activity of counting. I analyze three student examples that demonstrate underdeveloped, developing, and robust set-oriented perspectives and discuss steps for further research.