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ERIC Number: ED245879
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Semantic Categories for Addition and Subtraction.
Nesher, Pearla; And Others
Educational Studies in Mathematics, v13 p373-394 1982
This paper proposes a semantic analysis in which meanings of word problems are structures that include class and order relations, and suggests a hypothesis of developmental levels that can account for children's performance of these problems at various ages. The different kinds of problems vary in the complexity of semantic structures and the operations required to derive the meaning structures from the problem texts. A representational process in children's understanding of problems corresponding to the derivations in the semantic analysis is postulated which explains the relative difficulty of different kinds of word problems. The meaning structures can also be viewed as semantic interpretations of formal arithmetic sentences; this provides an analysis of children's achievements of more sophisticated understanding of arithmetic concepts and relationships. The first section reviews and presents empirical data for different categories of addition and subtraction word problems. The second section proposes developmental levels of word problem-solving ability that relate to growth in empirical, mathematical, and logical knowledge structures. The third section demonstrates how these developmental levels account for the accumulated data on children's performances of the arithmetic word problems presented earlier. (JN)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Learning Research and Development Center.
Identifiers: Mathematics Education Research; Semantic Categories; Word Problems