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Volume 26Number 2 publication date:Dec. 2013
The Aesthetic Value Embedded in the Negative Number History and the Negative Number Instruction
    Author:Shu-Chuan Chen
Research Note


The purpose of this article is to interpret the meaning and the aesthetics value in the history of negative numbers and the instruction of negative numbers. The argument begins with explaining the reasons why the aesthetic approach can be recommended to inspire the instruction of negative numbers. The aesthetic contents of negative numbers are then analyzed and presented. The author further explicates the beauty embedded in negative numbers can be demonstrated through their developmental history. This article ends up with emphasizing the 4 merits of aesthetic viewpoints in broadening the visions of the negative number instruction; they are as follows: (1) to calm the restlessness of negative number learning; (2) to inspire student to pay more attention to number learning; (3) to better the understanding of negative number algorithm through the aesthetic intuition afforded by two examples of figure images showing that "subtracting a negative number by adding its opposite" and that "the multiplication of two negative numbers being positive"; (4) to assist student in facing and overcoming the problems in learning negative numbers. The teachers are encouraged to facilitate students to embrace the aesthetic value of negative numbers and to tackle students’ problems in advanced mathematics learning by taking into consideration of their cognitive abilities and mathematic performance.

Keywords: mathematics aesthetics, negative number algorithm, negative number instruction


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