ERIC Number: ED454038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Mental Computation: Is It More Than Mental Architecture?
Literature at national and international levels argues the importance of including mental computation in a mathematics curriculum that promotes number sense. However, mental computation does not feature in importance in the current Queensland mathematics syllabus documents. Hopefully, with the writing of a new mathematics syllabus, mental computation will feature with more prominence. It has been posited that when children are encouraged to formulate their own mental computation strategies, they learn how numbers work, gain a richer experience in dealing with numbers, and develop number sense. In the literature, a wide variety of addition and subtraction mental strategies has been identified and characteristics of good mental computers have been documented. These findings are useful to inform teachers of children's thinking, and help them better understand children's explanations. However, little research has attempted to explain why or how children develop these strategies and why some children are proficient. Thus, the intention of present study was to go beyond reporting the existing situation in schools to investigating, in depth, associated factors, and to develop a comprehensive model for mental computation. This paper reports a study of Year 3 children's addition and subtraction mental computation abilities, and the complexity of interaction of cognitive, metacognitive, and affective factors that supported and diminished their ability to compute efficiently. As well, the part memory plays in mental computation was investigated. Finally, some implications for teaching are discussed. (Contains 46 references.) (Author/ASK)
Descriptors: Addition, Arithmetic, Foreign Countries, Grade 3, Learning Strategies, Mathematics Education, Mental Computation, Number Concepts, Primary Education, Subtraction
For full text: http://www.aare.edu.au/00pap/hei00259.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia