Measure for Measure: What Combining Diverse Measures Reveals About Children's Understanding of the Equal Sign as an Indicator of Mathematical Equality

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  • 1 University of Notre Dame
  • 2 Vanderbilt University
  • 3 State University of New York at Oswego

Knowledge of the equal sign as an indicator of mathematical equality is foundational to children's mathematical development and serves as a key link between arithmetic and algebra. The current findings reaffirmed a past finding that diverse items can be integrated onto a single scale, revealed the wide variability in children's knowledge of the equal sign assessed by different types of items, and provided empirical evidence for a link between equal-sign knowledge and success on some basic algebra items.

Contributor Notes

Percival Matthews, Department of Psychology, 208 Haggar Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556; pmatthew@nd.edu

Bethany Rittle-Johnson, Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Peabody #552, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203; bethany.rittle-johnson@vanderbilt.edu

Katherine McEldoon, Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Peabody #552, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203; k.mceldoon@vanderbilt.edu

Roger Taylor, 464 Mahar Hall, SUNY Oswego Oswego, NY 13126; roger.taylor@oswego.edu

(Corresponding author is Matthews pmatthew@nd.edu)(Corresponding author is Rittle-Johnson johnson@vanderbilt.edu)(Corresponding author is McEldoon k.mceldoon@vanderbilt.edu)(Corresponding author is Taylor roger.taylor@oswego.edu)
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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