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Preservice Elementary School Teachers’ Conceptions of Multidigit Whole Numbers

Eva Thanheiser 

May 2009, Volume 40, Issue 3, Page 251

Although preservice elementary school teachers (PSTs) lack the understanding of multidigit whole numbers necessary to teach in ways that empower students mathematically, little is known about their conceptions of multidigit whole numbers. The extensive research on children’s understanding of multidigit whole numbers is used to explicate PSTs’ conceptions of these numbers. A grounded theoretical approach leads to the development of a framework for PSTs’ conceptions of multidigit whole numbers, and that framework facilitates description of their conceptions and their difficulties in the context of the standard algorithms. The framework also enables discussion of the PSTs’ performance in other contexts.

Grades 3-5
Addition and Subtraction
Conceptual Development
Higher Education
Professional Development / Teacher Education