Teaching of division of fractions through mathematical thinking

Chun Chor Litwin CHENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Division of fractions is always a difficult topic for primary school students. Most of the presentations in teaching the topic in textbooks are procedural, asking students to invert the second fraction and multiply it with the first one, that is, $$frac{a}{b}{div}frac{c}{d}=frac{a}{b}{ imes}frac{d}{c}$$. Such procedural approach in teaching diminishes both the understanding of structure in mathematics and the interest in learning the subject. This paper discussed the formulation of teaching the division of fractions, which based on research lessons in some primary five classrooms. The formulated lessons started with an analogy to division of integers and working with division of fractions with equal denominators and then extended to division of fractions in general. It is found that the using of analogy helps students to invent their procedure in working the division problem. Some procedures found by students are discussed, with the focus on the development of their invention and mathematical thinking. Copyright © 2013 Korean Society of Mathematical Education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
JournalJournal of the Korean Society of Mathematical Education Series D: Research in Mathematical Education
Volume17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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Teaching
student
invention
textbook
primary school
mathematics
classroom
learning

Citation

Cheng, C. C. L. (2013). Teaching of division of fractions through mathematical thinking. Journal of the Korean Society of Mathematical Education Series D: Research in Mathematical Education, 17(1), 15-27.

Keywords

  • Mmathematical thinking