Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 46, No. 2, March 2015
To understand relationships between students’ fractional knowledge and algebraic reasoning in the domain of equation writing, an interview study was conducted with 12 secondary school students, 6 students operating with each of 2 different multiplicative concepts. These concepts are based on how students coordinate composite units. Students participated in two 45-minute interviews and completed a written fractions assessment. Students operating with the second multiplicative concept had not constructed fractional numbers, but students operating with the third multiplicative concept had; students operating with the second multiplicative concept represented multiplicatively related unknowns in qualitatively different ways than students operating with the third multiplicative concept. A facilitative link is proposed between the construction of fractional numbers and how students represent multiplicatively related unknowns.
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