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ERIC Number: ED452087
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Pages: 56
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
First Graders' Responses to School-Taught Mathematics as a Function of Their Spontaneous Conceptions of Basic Algebraic Relationships.
Kaplan, Rochelle Goldberg
The rationale of this study is based on the premise that the outcomes of children's learning are specifically shaped by the interaction of their individual cognitive structures with the presentations of curricular content in the classroom. Therefore, since the interpretive tools that children apply to instructional content may vary substantially, even within the same classroom, the representations they construct about curricular content are unlikely to have uniform meaning. Moreover, some of these representations may not necessarily be synchronous with the conceptual learning goals intended by curriculum developers. It falls to teachers, then, to be cognizant of these potential pupil variations in order to adapt curriculum to take into account the ways in which the same seemingly objective content will be interpreted to mean different things to students with different preconceptions. This study examined the ways in which first grade children's spontaneous concepts informed their understanding of school-taught ideas at addressed elements of algebraic reasoning. In particular, the study assessed children's responses to written activities in the school's developmentally sequenced spiraling curriculum as a function of differences in their previous knowledge of equivalence and related concepts. It was predicted that despite common instructional opportunities designed to "draw on the children's rich store of mathematical understanding and information," learning outcomes and modes of representing that curricular content would not be uniform. Rather, they would vary with the quality of spontaneous concepts individual children brought to the learning situation. This study suggests that first grade students with immature spontaneous notions about number tend to attribute static, specific, non-quantitative linguistic meaning to relational concepts in the mathematics curriculum. (ASK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A