A priliminary study on Hong Kong students' understanding of fraction

Chi Keung Eddie LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

It is widely recognized that "Fractions" is a difficult topic for primary students as they comprise five interrelated subconstructs, namely part-whole, ratio, operator, quotient and measure. Charalambous and Pitta-Pantazi (2007) have found that Cyprus primary students were the most successful in the tasks related to part-whole subconstruct and the least competent in the measure subconstruct. With the consent of the original author, the instrument was adapted and translated into Chinese for investigating Hong Kong students' understanding of fractions. Forty six schools from various districts of different social-economic status were invited to join the project and twenty schools agreed to participate in the study. All the P5 and P6 students of these schools were invited to take the tests. The P5 students were also involved as they had learned all the underlying concepts before the test administration at the end of academic year. Altogether over 4400 Hong Kong primary students took the test. It is found that they perform very well in part-whole with 84% correct, satisfactorily in ratio (68% correct), operator (67%) and quotient (61%), and undesirably worse in measure (32%). It is interesting that the patterns of students' strengths and weaknesses across the two places look alike, though Hong Kong students perform better in all five subsconstructs. This paper will elaborate the findings and discuss the implications to pedagogical design to the teaching and learning of this challenging topic.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Citation

Leung, C.-K. (2009, June). A priliminary study on Hong Kong students' understanding of fraction. Paper presented at the Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference: Designing New Learning Contexts for a Globalising World, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Keywords

  • Mathematics education

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