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ERIC Number: EJ1093167
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0256-2928
Mental Computation or Standard Algorithm? Children's Strategy Choices on Multi-Digit Subtractions
Torbeyns, Joke; Verschaffel, Lieven
European Journal of Psychology of Education, v31 n2 p99-116 Apr 2016
This study analyzed children's use of mental computation strategies and the standard algorithm on multi-digit subtractions. Fifty-eight Flemish 4th graders of varying mathematical achievement level were individually offered subtractions that either stimulated the use of mental computation strategies or the standard algorithm in one choice and two no-choice conditions. In the choice condition, children could apply their preferential strategy on each item; in the no-choice conditions, they had to solve all items with mental computation and the standard algorithm, respectively. Results revealed that children of all achievement levels applied the standard algorithm remarkably frequently and efficiently, even on subtractions that were intended to evoke mental computation. Moreover, children did not fit their strategy choices to the numerical characteristics of the items, but high and above-average achieving children based their strategy choices on their individual mastery of the different strategies. We discuss the theoretical, methodological, and instructional implications of these results.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A