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From Informal Strategies to Structured Procedures: Mind the Gap!

Julia Anghileri, Meindert Beishuizen and Kees Van Putten
Educational Studies in Mathematics
Vol. 49, No. 2 (2002), pp. 149-170
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3483073
Page Count: 22
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From Informal Strategies to Structured Procedures: Mind the Gap!
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Abstract

This paper explores written calculation methods for division used by pupils in England (n = 276) and the Netherlands (n = 259) at two points in the same school year. Informal strategies are analysed and progression identified towards more structured procedures that result from different teaching approaches. Comparison of the methods used by year 5 (Group 6) pupils in the two countries shows greater success in the Dutch approach, which is based on careful progression from informal strategies to more structured and efficient procedures. This success is particularly notable for the girls in the sample. For the English pupils, whose written solutions largely involved the traditional algorithm, the discontinuity between the formal computation procedure and informal solution strategies presents difficulties.

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