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ERIC Number: EJ1110333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Spontaneous Focusing on Quantitative Relations as a Predictor of the Development of Rational Number Conceptual Knowledge
McMullen, Jake; Hannula-Sormunen, Minna M.; Laakkonen, Eero; Lehtinen, Erno
Journal of Educational Psychology, v108 n6 p857-868 Aug 2016
Many people have serious difficulties in understanding rational numbers, limiting their ability to interpret and make use of them in modern daily life. This also leads to later difficulties in learning more advanced mathematical content. In this study, novel tasks are used to measure 263 late primary school students' spontaneous focusing on quantitative relations, in situations that are not explicitly mathematical. Even after controlling for a number of known predictors of rational number knowledge, spontaneous focusing on quantitative relations is found to have a strong impact on students' learning of rational number conceptual knowledge. This finding opens new possibilities for developing pedagogical solutions to one of the most difficult challenges of mathematics education. The findings suggest that students' own focusing tendency and self-initiated practice may have on important role in the long-term development of complex cognitive skills.
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:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Raven Progressive Matrices; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A