Cognitive Processes in Problem Solving in a Dynamic Mathematics Environment


  • Michael J. Bosse Appalachian State University
  • Erica Slate Young Appalachian State University
  • Anass Bayaga Nelson Mandela University
  • Kathleen Lynch-Davis Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
  • Ashley DeMarte Appalachian State University
  • Catherine Fountain Appalachian State University


While one branch of literature is replete with investigations of problem solving and another branch frequently investigates student use of dynamic mathematics environments (DMEs), most of the studies in both of these fields consider whether or not students can solve problems. Far fewer number of studies consider the cognitive processes associated during either problem-solving experiences or DME use and only a handful of studies consider cognitive processes associated with problem solving when working in a DME. This paper reports a novel approach to investigating, defining, and categorizing the cognitive processes used by students in mathematical problem-solving while working in a DME with examples found in student work. Using this approach, problem-solving is found to be nonlinear, iterative, and idiosyncratic. Insights gained by this analysis have both theoretical and practical applications in mathematics education.

Author Biography

Michael J. Bosse, Appalachian State University

Michael. J. Bossé is the Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education and MELT Program Director at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and is active in providing professional development to teachers in North Carolina and around the nation. His research focuses on learning, cognition, and curriculum in K-16 mathematics.