An Analysis of Student's Error in Learning Mathematical Problem Solving: The Perspective of David Kolb’s Theory

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Widodo Winarso, Toheri Toheri

Abstract

Schoenfeld and Sloane argued that the main task of mathematics education is to explain students’ thought processes in order to improve the quality of mathematics learning. Many students make errors in answering maths tests. It turns out that various types of errors depend on students’ learning styles. The focus of this research was to analyze students’ errors in solving mathematics problems based on differences in students’ learning styles according to David Kolb’s theory of experiential learning. The study was conducted at Vocational Middle School in Cirebon-Indonesia. The research used a qualitative research case study approach. The instrument used in this study was the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (KLSI version 3.1), and math tests. For data analysis, this study used triangulation techniques. The four categories of learning orientations were found among 24 students who participated in this study, namely converging, accommodating, assimilating, and diverging. The difference with other studies is that this study focuses on discussing student errors based on learning styles. Each type of learning style was associated with its unique errors. Errors made by divergers were procedural errors and misunderstandings; the assimilators’ types of error were procedural and conceptual errors; the convergers’ error type was a procedural error; the type of error made by accommodators was a theoretical error. Conceptual errors were caused by a misunderstanding of existing concepts, leading the students to make errors in the answer to math tests. Strategy errors can be encountered by students when they were stuck in the answer to a math test. A procedural error occurred when students used a non-systematic method in completing the test.

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