
06297529
a
2014c.00600
Van Hoof, Jo
Vandewalle, Jolien
Van Dooren, Wim
In search for the natural number bias in secondary school students when solving algebraic expressions.
Lindmeier, Anke M. (ed.) et al., Proceedings of the 37th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education ``Mathematics learning across the life span", PME 37, Kiel, Germany, July 28August 2, 2013. Vol. 4. Kiel: IPNLeibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Kiel (ISBN 9783890882901). 329336 (2013).
2013
Kiel: IPNLeibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Kiel
EN
F43
H23
H33
algebraic expressions
natural number bias
rational numbers
difficulties
basic operations
Summary: Dealing with rational numbers causes difficulties for many children, even though it is an essential part of mathematical literacy. The natural number bias is considered a major source of this difficulty. By means of two studies we investigated if and to what extent students who are just introduced into expressions involving literal symbols suffer from the natural number bias when interpreting algebraic expressions that address the effect of the four basic operations. Evidence for the natural number bias was found in the significantly higher accuracy levels on congruent items (where interpreting the letter as a natural number leads to a correct answer) than on incongruent items (where interpreting the letter as a natural number leads to an incorrect answer).