Number combinations and arithmetic structure: Implications for early algebra

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This paper examines the influence certain number combinations have on children’s ability to abstract arithmetic structure. The study replicates an investigation of Israeli and Canadian students, which found that certain number combinations significantly influenced the order in which operations are performed. Seventy-six Australian children participated in the study. The results indicated that, while the number combinations did not significantly influence the order in which the Australian children performed the operations, many exhibited misconceptions that reflected a very procedural approach to mathematics. Implications are drawn for the introduction of mental computation and early algebraic understanding in the early years of schooling.


School of Education

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Open Access Conference Paper

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Open Access