ERIC Number: EJ1020885
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 100
Curricular Treatments of Length Measurement in the United States: Do They Address Known Learning Challenges?
Smith, John P., III; Males, Lorraine M.; Dietiker, Leslie C.; Lee, KoSze; Mosier, Aaron
Cognition and Instruction, v31 n4 p388-433 2013
Extensive research has shown that elementary students struggle to learn the basic principles of length measurement. However, where patterns of errors have been documented, the origins of students' difficulties have not been identified. This study investigated the hypothesis that written elementary mathematics curricula contribute to the problem of learning length measurement. We analyzed all instances of length measurement in three mathematics curricula (grades K-3) and found a shared focus on procedures. Attention to conceptual principles was limited overall and particularly for central ideas; conceptual principles were often presented after students were asked to use procedures that depended on them; and students often did not have direct access to conceptual principles. We also report five groupings of procedures that appeared sequentially in all three curricula, the conceptual principles that underlie those procedures, and the conventional knowledge that receives substantial attention by grade 3.
Descriptors: Measurement, Elementary School Mathematics, Primary Education, Mathematical Concepts, Measurement Techniques, Learning, Measurement Equipment, Influences, Elementary School Students, Educational Opportunities, Content Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Primary Education; Kindergarten; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3
Authoring Institution: N/A