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ERIC Number: ED356146
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Precursors of Non-Positive Integer Concepts.
Davidson, Philip M.
An influential proposal about aquiring mathematical knowledge is that it entails linking instruction-based concepts to intuitions derived from informal activities. In the case of non-positive numbers, informal knowledge is unlikely to emanate from observing physical objects, because non-positive objects or sets of objects do not exist. However, it is hypothesized that such intuitions could derive from experience with actions that undo other actions, such as decrementing a collection or returning to a starting point. Game-like activities involving positive and non-positive actions are used in an exploratory study of 4- to 7-year-old children to examine this hypothesis. The results suggest that children do develop action-based intuitions of non-positive quantities prior to formal instruction, although this knowledge must be described as qualitative and precursory. Similar informal activities could be adapted for use in the early grades to promote an intuitive basis for formal concepts that will be presented later. Activities emphasizing ordinal concepts may be especially useful, as these appear less likely than cardinal concepts to be acquired through casual experience. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A