\input zb-basic
\input zb-matheduc
\iteman{ZMATH 2015d.00691}
\itemau{Byrd, Caroline E.; McNeil, Nicole M.; Chesney, Dana L.; Matthews, Percival G.}
\itemti{A specific misconception of the equal sign acts as a barrier to children's learning of early algebra.}
\itemso{Learn. Individ. Differ. 38, 61-67 (2015).}
\itemab
Summary: Children's equal sign understanding affects learning of early algebra. Most studies to date have focused exclusively on the presence of relational interpretations of the equal sign (e.g., ``the same as" or ``equal to"), without examining how different types of non-relational interpretations affect learning. Children's (3rd and 5th graders; $M$ age = 9 yrs, 11 mos) equal sign interpretations were measured prior to instruction on mathematical equivalence. In addition to helpful effects of relational interpretations, we hypothesized that an arithmetic-specific interpretation (e.g., ``what something adds to") would be more likely to hinder children's learning than would other non-relational interpretations. Results supported these hypotheses. Presence of relational interpretations was helpful in both grades, and an arithmetic-specific equal sign interpretation negatively predicted 5th graders' end-of-year early algebra performance. Equal sign interpretations were not associated with arithmetic performance in either grade. Results extend our understanding of how equal sign interpretations shape children's mathematics learning.
\itemrv{~}
\itemcc{H22 H23 H32 H33 D72 D73 E42 E43}
\itemut{conceptual development; individual differences; learning; early algebra}
\itemli{doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2015.01.001}
\end