ERIC Number: EJ1059506
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
Prompting Children to Reason Proportionally: Processing Discrete Units as Continuous Amounts
Boyer, Ty W.; Levine, Susan C.
Developmental Psychology, v51 n5 p615-620 May 2015
Recent studies reveal that children can solve proportional reasoning problems presented with continuous amounts that enable intuitive strategies by around 6 years of age but have difficulties with problems presented with discrete units that tend to elicit explicit count-and-match strategies until at least 10 years of age. The current study tests whether performance on discrete unit problems might be improved by prompting intuitive reasoning with continuous-format problems. Participants were kindergarten, second-grade, and fourth-grade students (N = 194) assigned to either an experimental condition, where they were given continuous amount proportion problems before discrete unit proportion problems, or a control condition, where they were given all discrete unit problems. Results of a three-way mixed-model analysis of variance examining school grade, experimental condition, and block of trials indicated that fourth-grade students in the experimental condition outperformed those in the control condition on discrete unit problems in the second half of the experiment, but kindergarten and second-grade students did not differ by condition. This suggests that older children can be prompted to use intuitive strategies to reason proportionally.
Descriptors: Logical Thinking, Problem Solving, Intuition, Kindergarten, Grade 2, Grade 4, Elementary School Students, Statistical Analysis, Age Differences
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2; Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: SBE-1041707|SBE-0541957|BCS-1348921