NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ810341
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
Limitations to Teaching Children 2 + 2 = 4: Typical Arithmetic Problems Can Hinder Learning of Mathematical Equivalence
McNeil, Nicole M.
Child Development, v79 n5 p1524-1537 Sep-Oct 2008
Do typical arithmetic problems hinder learning of mathematical equivalence? Second and third graders (7-9 years old; N= 80) received lessons on mathematical equivalence either with or without typical arithmetic problems (e.g., 15 + 13 = 28 vs. 28 = 28, respectively). Children then solved math equivalence problems (e.g., 3 + 9 + 5 = 6 + __), switched lesson conditions, and solved math equivalence problems again. Correct solutions were less common following instruction with typical arithmetic problems. In a supplemental experiment, fifth graders (10-11 years old; N= 19) gave fewer correct solutions after a brief intervention on mathematical equivalence that included typical arithmetic problems. Results suggest that learning is hindered when lessons activate inappropriate existing knowledge.
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B070297