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ERIC Number: EJ880224
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0737-0008
How Many "Decimals" Are There between Two "Fractions"? Aspects of Secondary School Students' Understanding of Rational Numbers and Their Notation
Vamvakoussi, Xenia; Vosniadou, Stella
Cognition and Instruction, v28 n2 p181-209 2010
We present an empirical study that investigated seventh-, ninth-, and eleventh-grade students' understanding of the infinity of numbers in an interval. The participants (n = 549) were asked how many (i.e., a finite or infinite number of numbers) and what type of numbers (i.e., decimals, fractions, or any type) lie between two rational numbers. The results showed that the idea of discreteness (i.e., that fractions and decimals had "successors" like natural numbers) was robust in all age groups; that students tended to believe that the intermediate numbers must be of the same type as the interval endpoints (i.e., only decimals between decimals and fractions between fractions); and that the type of interval endpoints (natural numbers, decimals, or fractions) influenced students' judgments of the number of intermediate numbers in those intervals. We interpret these findings within the framework theory approach to conceptual change. (Contains 8 tables, 5 figures and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 11; Grade 7; Grade 9; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece (Athens)