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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:What are children's (mis)conceptions of fractions?
Author:Mandlate, Ernesto Vasco
Periodical:Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research (ISSN 1013-3445)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Mozambique
East Africa
Subjects:mathematics education
primary education
Educational sciences
Abstract:A look at the school mathematics curriculum in Mozambique reveals that fractions are introduced in grade 5. The aim of the present study was to find out what kind of preknowledge children have about the concept of fractions so that teachers may take this into account when introducing fractions in the classroom. Data were collected in open interviews with a number of children and adults from Maputo and Bilene. The interviews focused on mathematical instances, with the facts presented in such a way as to correspond to a concrete cultural, social and geographic environment. The author found that children are aware of the fact that there are quantities that cannot be expressed through whole numbers. Most children acquire first the sharing concept of fraction. They seem to be unaware of fractions as equivalence classes (rational numbers) or as operators, even when in specific situations, such as in multiplication, they deal with fractions as operators. Bibliogr.