Understanding children’s reasoning in multiplication problem-solving

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kerri Richardson, Chair and Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: This article investigates two children’s intuitive thinking in solving multiplication problems from different educational backgrounds. One of the children is in a southern elementary school in the US. He was given the same problems both in first and second grades. The other child was a first grader in a southwest region of China, and she was given the same problems. The findings reveal a variety of intuitive thinking in solving the multiplication problems through addition beyond direct modeling and counting strategies. The authors also discussed how different educational backgrounds in early elementary mathematics education may affect children’s intuitive ideas and reasoning in solving multiplication problems. The study implies the importance of understanding children’s intuitive ideas of multiplication and highlights potential opportunities for developing children’s understanding of multiplicative thinking and algebraic thinking in earlier stages of arithmetic learning.

Additional Information

Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 10(4), 240-250
Language: English
Date: 2018
Intuitive thinking of multiplication, problem solving, task-based interview, elementary mathematics education in the US and China

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