NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ875487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0740-8404
The Battle of the Zero Divisors
Hale, Patricia; Hale, Charles
AMATYC Review, v27 n1 p26-33 Fall 2005
The mathematical reasons that we cannot divide by zero are not easy for most students to understand; in fact, even those students who have more than just a basic understanding of algebraic concepts still have difficulty. This is most problematic for college students who are prospective teachers since they need to develop a deep understanding of division because both national and state standards usually require these topics be taught to elementary school children. Unfortunately, many of our prospective teachers are never given the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the reasons why division by zero is undefined; what indeterminate means in this setting; and what is meant when we say a solution does not exist because it would approach infinity. In this paper we give examples of prospective teacher's understanding of division by zero and a particular model that has helped our college students come to an understanding of why division by zero is undefined.
American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134. Tel: 901-333-4643; Fax: 901-333-4651; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A