ERIC Number: ED335420
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jul
From Protoquantities to Number Sense.
Resnick, Lauren B.; And Others
The efficacy of an early mathematics program aimed at developing number sense and built entirely on children's invented procedures and on their informally acquired quantitative knowledge was studied. To socialize children to think of themselves as reasoners about numbers, the classroom program routinely provided daily conversation about numbers and drew attention to quantitative examples in everyday living situations. The program, initiated in 1988-89, was based on the following principles: draw children's informal knowledge into the classroom, develop children's trust in their own knowledge, use formal notations as a public record of discussions and conclusions, introduce the whole additive structure as quickly as possible, talk about mathematics in addition to practicing it, and encourage everyday problem finding. All children in the first through third grade classes in a school serving a largely minority and poor population participated. First graders were interviewed three times during the year. To assess whether the computational aspects of the standard curriculum were being met, data from the standardized mathematics achievement test that the school annually gives its first graders at the end of March were examined. The test scores of second and third graders who were introduced to a modified version of the program part-way through the 1988-89 school year were also assessed. The program produced large improvements both in number sense and in computational competence across all ability levels. Thinking-based programs successfully teach basic number facts and arithmetic procedures that are the core of the traditional primary mathematics program. An invention-based mathematics program is suitable even for children who are not socially favored or initially educationally able. (RLC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Technology in Education, New York, NY.
Note: Paper presented at the Psychology of Mathematics Education Conference (Mexico, July 1990).