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ERIC Number: EJ935316
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Children's Acquisition of Arithmetic Principles: The Role of Experience
Prather, Richard; Alibali, Martha W.
Journal of Cognition and Development, v12 n3 p332-354 2011
The current study investigated how young learners' experiences with arithmetic equations can lead to learning of an arithmetic principle. The focus was elementary school children's acquisition of the Relation to Operands principle for subtraction (i.e., for natural numbers, the difference must be less than the minuend). In Experiment 1, children who viewed incorrect, principle-consistent equations and those who viewed a mix of incorrect, principle-consistent and principle-violation equations both showed gains in principle knowledge. However, children who viewed only principle-consistent equations did not. We hypothesized that improvements were due in part to improved encoding of relative magnitudes. In Experiment 2, children who practiced comparing numerical magnitudes increased their knowledge of the principle. Thus, experience that highlights the encoding of relative magnitude facilitates principle learning. This work shows that exposure to certain types of arithmetic equations can facilitate the learning of arithmetic principles, a fundamental aspect of early mathematical development. (Contains 3 figures.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A