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Understanding Primes: The Role of Representation

Rina Zazkis, Peter Liljedahl 

May 2004, Volume 35, Issue 3, Page 164

Abstract:
In this article we investigate how preservice elementary school (K–7) teachers understand the concept of prime numbers. We describe participants' understanding of primes and attempt to detect factors that influence their understanding. Representation  of number properties serves as a lens for the analysis of participants' responses. We suggest that an obstacle to the conceptual understanding of primality of numbers is the lack of a transparent representation for a prime number.

Keywords:
Grade 7
Research Studies
Article
Conceptual Development
Numbers and Operations
Teacher
Professional Development / Teacher Education
Representation