Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Teaching fractions

There seem to be suggestions that some kids never get fractions
"Teachers know something that educational policy folk of all stripes seem incapable of recognizing: it’s the students, not the teachers. They  taught. And why they don’t remember is an issue we really should start to treat as a key piece of the puzzle." The conclusion seems to be that some kids cannot be taught.
I think that fractions are hard to understand teach "The history of teaching fractions is long and colourful. In 1958 Hartung wrote, "The fraction concept is complex and cannot be grasped all at once. It must be acquired through a long process of sequential development." This sequential development of the fraction concept needs to be well understood if we are to develop widespread access to learning fractions with understanding." says
I myself find confused about (a/b)/c and a/(b/c) until I remeber that it is a notational problem. In any case, I would find it difficult to teach the division of a fraction by a fraction. The words like 'negative', 'irrational', 'complex' indicate the difficulty of the concepts and the suspicion with which they were received. I do not think that there is much point in saying that some kids do not get it. These are difficult conceptually and notationally and it takes a long time to get them and one has to experiment with different methods of teaching and perhaps group learning..

1 comment:

willson said...

A fraction (from Latin: fractus, "broken") represents a part of a whole or, more generally, any number of equal parts. When spoken in everyday English, a fraction describes how many parts of a certain size there are, for example, one-half, five-eighths, three-quarters.
A common or vulgar fraction, such as 1/2, 8/5, 3/4, consists of an integer numerator and a non-zero integer denominator—the numerator representing a number of equal parts and the denominator indicating how many of those parts make up a whole. An example is 3/4, in which the numerator, 3, tells us that the fraction represents 3 equal parts, and the denominator, 4, tells us that 4 parts equal a whole. The picture to the right illustrates 3/4 of a cake.
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