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ERIC Number: EJ813911
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0732-3123
Reflections on "Multiplication as Original Sin": The Implications of Using a Case to Help Preservice Teachers Understand Invented Algorithms
Harkness, Shelly Sheats; Thomas, Jonathan
Journal of Mathematical Behavior, v27 n2 p128-137 2008
This article describes the use of a case report, Multiplication as original sin (Corwin, R. B. (1989). "Multiplication as original sin." "Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 8", 223-225), as an assignment in a mathematics course for preservice elementary teachers. In this case study, Corwin described her experience as a 6th grader when she revealed an invented algorithm. Preservice teachers were asked to write reflections and describe why Corwin's invented algorithm worked. The research purpose was: to learn about the preservice teachers' understanding of Corwin's invented multiplication algorithm (its validity); and, to identify thought-provoking issues raised by the preservice teachers. Rather than using mathematical properties to describe the validity of Corwin's invented algorithm, a majority of them relied on procedural and memorized explanations. About 31% of the preservice teachers demonstrated some degree of conceptual understanding of mathematical properties. Preservice teachers also made personal connections to the case report, described Corwin using superlative adjectives, and were critical of her teacher. (Contains 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6; Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A