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ERIC Number: EJ1126916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0737-0008
Early Developmental Trajectories toward Concepts of Rational Numbers
Kainulainen, Mikko; McMullen, Jake; Lehtinen, Erno
Cognition and Instruction, v35 n1 p4-19 2017
Difficulties with rational numbers have been explained by a natural number bias, where concepts of natural numbers are inappropriately applied to rational numbers. Overcoming this difficulty may require a radical restructuring of previous knowledge. In order to capture this development, we examined third- to fifth-grade students' understanding of the size of rational numbers across a 1-year period. On three occasions, students answered a test about the size of decimals and fractions. Latent transition analysis allowed profiling five different rational number size concepts and mapping students' developmental trajectories during the early learning of this topic. Development from natural number-based reasoning to mathematically correct understanding was almost nonexistent during this time period. Instead, students appear to move through intermediary concepts. Locating these temporary and mediating number concepts supports the idea of a slow and gradually developing conceptual change in rational numbers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 3; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A