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ERIC Number: EJ1172124
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
Developmental Changes in the Whole Number Bias
Braithwaite, David W.; Siegler, Robert S.
Developmental Science, v21 n2 Mar 2018
Many students' knowledge of fractions is adversely affected by whole number bias, the tendency to focus on the separate whole number components (numerator and denominator) of a fraction rather than on the fraction's magnitude (ratio of numerator to denominator). Although whole number bias appears early in the fraction learning process and under speeded conditions persists into adulthood, even among mathematicians, little is known about its development. Performance with equivalent fractions indicated that between fourth and eighth grade, whole number bias decreased, and reliance on fraction magnitudes increased. These trends were present on both fraction magnitude comparison and number line estimation. However, analyses of individual children's performance indicated that a substantial minority of fourth graders did not show whole number bias and that a substantial minority of eighth graders did show it. Implications of the findings for development of understanding of fraction equivalence and for theories of numerical development are discussed. Whole number bias in children's understanding of fractions decreased from fourth to eighth grade. This change was driven by an increase in the number of children relying on fraction magnitude representations and a concurrent decrease in the number of children relying on componential or hybrid representations. [For the full-text grantee submission of this article, see ED572370.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A150262; R305B100001; R324C100004