ERIC Number: ED258698
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Mental Arithmetic: Toward a Model of Retrieval and Problem Solving.
Ashcraft, Mark H.
Described in the context of a computer simulation are highlights of a program of research focusing on the storage of mathematics problem solving information in young children's memory and the development of such knowledge structures in older children. Specifically discussed are the problem size effect, the network nature of the memory representation, the development of addition knowledge, and predictions of automatic and conscious retrieval. These topics are broached in relation to a four-stage process model incorporating encoding, search/compute, decision, and response stage processes and two general classes of information stored in memory: a network of stored facts and knowledge about arithmetic. Discussion centers primarily on the network of stored facts, or declarative knowledge component of the model. It was found that the model successfully simulates the pattern of results found in developmental studies of simple arithmetic. The model itself derives from reasonable assumptions about the nature of human memory organization and processes. An especially noteworthy feature of the model is that the same fundamental mechanism, learning, accounts for all four aspects of the model. With learning comes first a representation of arithmetic knowledge in a network-node structure, and then a strengthening of those nodes across development. Retrieval from the network depends directly on node strength, and becomes more automatic as strength reaches asymptotic values. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A