Rick Owens

Date of Submission



The purpose of this research was to investigate some of the effects on teachers and students of positioning written calculation within a commitment to building students’ number sense. The focus on number sense took shape initially through explicit teaching of a strategies approach to mental computation, followed by an exploration of approaches to written calculation which made use of effective mental computation strategies. The impetus for this research came from the following observations of many classrooms and a review of the available literature: the dominant aspect of calculation in many schools in the primary and middle years of schooling (here deemed as up to Year 8 in schools in the Australian Capital Territory) is the teaching and using of formal written algorithms for many students this emphasis works against overall facility with calculation and the development of number sense. This study investigated the following research question: What are some of the effects on teachers and students within a junior high school setting, of aligning written calculation with a strategies approach to teaching and using mental computation?


School of Education

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


199 pages

Degree Name

Master of Education (Research) (MEd(Res))


Faculty of Education

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Education Commons