Written algorithms in the primary years: Undoing the good work?
Clarke, D M. (2005). Written algorithms in the primary years: Undoing the good work?. M. Coupland, J. Anderson, T. Spencer. 93-98. Adelaide, Australia: Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.aamt.edu.au/content/download/19063/252036/file/mm-vital.pdf
The teaching of conventional written algorithms in primary schools dominates the curriculum with concerning effects on both student understanding and self-confidence. In this paper, I summarise research findings and the opinions of key writers, with particular emphasis on the potential dangers of introducing conventional algorithms too early, and share research data from a follow-up study to the Victorian Early Numeracy Research Project. I make the argument that there is far more important work to be done in these years in developing concepts and strategies for mental computation, and offer some practical suggestions.
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