This paper describes some of the research-based principles that I use when designing learning experiences to foster conceptual understanding. These principles are illustrated through the discussion of one type of experience: that of sorting multiple representations. I refer to learning experiences rather than tasks, because tasks are only one component of the design. Close attention is also paid to the role of the teacher in creating an appropriate climate for learning to take place.
After a brief excursion into my own theoretical framework, I describe the educational objectives behind my design and provide a detailed explanation of it in one topic, that of algebraic notation. This is followed with an explanation of the principles that informed the design and the evolution of the task. Finally, I briefly indicate how the design might be generalised to include other topics.
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