- A Study on Alternative Formalization of Division of Fractions Using Informal Knowledge
- Baek Sun Su ;
- Education of Primary School Mathematics, volume 8, issue 2, 2004, Pages 97~113
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to develop instructional methods for the formalized algorithm through informal knowledge in teaching division of fractions. The following results have been drawn from this study: First, before students learn formal knowledge about division of fractions, they knowledge or strategies to solve problems such as direct modeling strategies, languages to reason mathematically, and using operational expressions. Second, students could solve problems using informal knowledge which is based on partitioning. But they could not solve problems as the numbers involved in problems became complex. In the beginning, they could not reinvent invert-and-multiply rule only by concrete models. However, with the researcher's guidance, they can understand the meaning of a reciprocal number by using concrete models. Moreover, they had an ability to apply the pattern of solving problems when dividend is 1 into division problems of fractions when dividend is fraction. Third, instructional activities were developed by using the results of the teaching experiment performed in the second research step. They consist of student's worksheets and teachers' guides. In conclusion, formalizing students' informal knowledge can make students understand formal knowledge meaningfully and it has a potential that promote mathematical thinking. The teaching-learning activities developed in this study can be an example to help teachers formalize students' informal knowledge.