An Analysis of Elementary Students` Understanding of the Equal Sign by Using Rasch Model

- Journal title : The Mathematical Education
- Volume 55, Issue 1, 2016, pp.1-19
- Publisher : Korea Society of Mathematical Education
- DOI : 10.7468/mathedu.2016.55.1.1

Title & Authors

An Analysis of Elementary Students` Understanding of the Equal Sign by Using Rasch Model

Kim, JeongWon; Pang, JeongSuk; Choi, JiYoung;

Kim, JeongWon; Pang, JeongSuk; Choi, JiYoung;

Abstract

Given the importance of understanding the equal sign in developing early algebraic thinking, this paper investigated how a total of 695 students in grades 2~6 understood the equal sign. The students completed a questionnaire with three types of items (equation structure, equal sign definition, and open equation solving) based on the construct map by four different levels of understanding the equal sign. The questionnaire was analyzed by Rasch model. The results showed that about 80% of the students were at least Level 3 which means a basic relational understanding of the equal sign. However, the success rates varied across grades and it was noticeable that about 70% of the second graders remained at Level 1 or 2 which maintains an operational understanding of the equal sign. The results of item types demonstrated that item difficulty for the advanced relational thinking was the highest and this is the same even for the Level 4 students. This paper is expected to investigate elementary school students` understanding of the equal sign and provide implications of how to deal with the equal sign in the elementary school.

Keywords

Rasch model;understanding of the equal sign;algebraic thinking;

Language

Korean

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