Teaching fractions in elementary school: An observational study
Van Steenbrugge, Hendrik × Remillard, Janine Verschaffel, Lieven Valcke, Martin Desoete, Annemie #
University of Chicago Press
The Elementary School Journal vol:116 issue:1 pages:49-75
This research analyzed how fractions are taught in the fourth grade of elementary school in Flanders. Analysis centered on the presence of five features of instruction recommended by research on teaching and learning fractions (i.e., multiple solution pathways, linking representations, estimation and justification of the solution, collaboration, embedment in a realistic context). Our sample consisted of 88 instructional episodes that were selected out of 24 videotaped lessons and the corresponding lessons in the teacher’s guide. Analysis related to instruction as described in the teacher’s guide, instruction during the whole group phase of teaching, and instruction during the individual practice phase of teaching. The study revealed (1) that the observed lessons reflected to a limited extend the recommended instructional features and (2) factors that contributed to a departure from these recommendations. This research is situated in the domain of teaching and learning fractions and within the broader domain of curriculum implementation.