Brief Report: A Progression of Fraction Schemes Common to Chinese and U.S. Students

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  • 1 Virginia Tech

Through their work on the Fractions Project, Steffe and Olive (2010) identified a progression of fraction schemes that describes students' development toward more and more sophisticated ways of operating with fractions. Although several quantitative studies have affirmed this progression, the question has remained open as to whether it is specific to the U.S. classrooms in which these studies were conducted or whether it describes a developmental progression that crosses international boundaries. The purpose of our replication study was to address that question using data gathered from written assessments of 76 5th- and 6th-grade students in China. Results indicate a remarkably similar progression among students in the United States and students in China.

Contributor Notes

Anderson Norton, Department of Mathematics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0123;

Jesse L. M. Wilkins, College of Education, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0313;

Cong ze Xu, College of Education, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0313;

(Corresponding author is Norton author is Wilkins author is Xu
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education


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