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Peter Kloosterman, Carol Novillis Larson, Janet Parker and Diane Thiessen

Edited by Douglas H. Clements and Patricia Wilson

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Douglas H. Clements, John F. Martin Jr. and Vincent F. O'Connor

Edited by Glenn D. Allinger

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Jeffery E. Barrett, Douglas H. Clements, David Klanderman, Sarah Jean Pennisi and Mokaeane V. Polaki

This article examines students' development of levels of understanding for measurement by describing the coordination of geometric reasoning with measurement and numerical strategies. In analyzing the reasoning and argumentation of 38 Grade 2 through Grade 10 students on linear measure tasks, we found support for the application and elaboration of our previously established categorization of children's length measurement levels: (1) guessing of length values by nai've visual observation, (2) making inconsistent, uncoordinated reference to markers as units, and (3) using consistent and coordinated identification of units. We elaborated two of these categories. Observations supported sublevel distinctions between inconsistent identification (2a) and consistent yet only partially coordinated identification of units (2b). Evidence also supported a distinction between static (3a) and dynamic (3b) ways of coordinating length; we distinguish integrated abstraction (3b) from nonintegrated abstraction (3a) by examining whether students coordinate number and space schemes across multiple cases, or merely associate cases without coordinating schemes.

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Douglas H. Clements, John F. Martin Jr. and Vincent F. O'Connor

Edited by Glenn D. Allinger

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Douglas H. Clements, Michael T. Battista, Julie Sarama, Sudha Swaminathan and Sue McMillen

We investigated the development of linear measure concepts within an instructional unit on paths and lengths of paths, part of a large-scale curriculum development project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). We also studied the role of noncomputer and computer interactions in that development. Data from paper-and-pencil assessments, interviews, and case studies were collected within the context of a pilot test of this unit with 4 third graders and field tests with 2 thirdgrade classrooms. Three levels of strategies for solving length problems were observed: (a) apply general strategies such as visual guessing of measures and naive guessing of numbers or arithmetic operations; (b) draw hatch marks, dots, or line segments to partition lengths to serve as perceptible units to quantify the length; (c) no physical partitioning—use an abstract unit of length, a “conceptual ruler,” to project onto unsegmented objects. Those students who had connected numeric and spatial representations evinced different and more powerful problem-solving strategies in geometric situations than those who had forged fewer such connections.

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Michael T. Battista, Douglas H. Clements, Judy Arnoff, Kathryn Battista and Caroline Van Auken Borrow

We define spatial structuring as the mental operation of constructing an organization or form for an object or set of objects. It is an essential mental process underlying students' quantitative dealings with spatial situations. In this article, we examine in detail students' structuring and enumeration of 2-dimensional (2D) rectangular arrays of squares. Our research indicates that many students do not “see”the row-by-column structure we assume in such arrays. We describe the various levels of sophistication in students' structuring of these arrays and elaborate the nature of the mental process of structuring.

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Douglas H. Clements, Julie Sarama, Mary Elaine Spitler, Alissa A. Lange and Christopher B. Wolfe

This study employed a cluster randomized trial design to evaluate the effectiveness of a research-based intervention for improving the mathematics education of very young children. This intervention includes the Building Blocks mathematics curriculum, which is structured in research-based learning trajectories, and congruous professional development emphasizing teaching for understanding via learning trajectories and technology. A total of 42 schools serving low-resource communities were randomly selected and randomly assigned to 3 treatment groups using a randomized block design involving 1,375 preschoolers in 106 classrooms. Teachers implemented the intervention with adequate fidelity. Pre- to posttest scores revealed that the children in the Building Blocks group learned more mathematics than the children in the control group (effect size, g = 0.72). Specific components of a measure of the quantity and quality of classroom mathematics environments and teaching partially mediated the treatment effect.

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Amanda L. Cullen, Cheryl L. Eames, Craig J. Cullen, Jeffrey E. Barrett, Julie Sarama, Douglas H. Clements and Douglas W. Van Dine

We examine the effects of 3 interventions designed to support Grades 2–5 children's growth in measuring rectangular regions in different ways. We employed the microgenetic method to observe and describe conceptual transitions and investigate how they may have been prompted by the interventions. We compared the interventions with respect to children's learning and then examined patterns in observable behaviors before and after transitions to more sophisticated levels of thinking according to a learning trajectory for area measurement. Our findings indicate that creating a complete record of the structure of the 2-dimensional array—by drawing organized rows and columns of equal-sized unit squares—best supported children in conceptualizing how units were built, organized, and coordinated, leading to improved performance.

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Douglas H. Clements, Thomas O'Shea, David J. Whitin, Janet Bauman-Boatman, Gillian R. Clouthier and Mary Kay Tornrose

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Julia Aguirre, Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis, Marta Civil, Trena Wilkerson, Michelle Stephan, Stephen Pape and Douglas H. Clements

In 2005, the NCTM Research Committee devoted its commentary to exploring how mathematics education research might contribute to a better understanding of equity in school mathematics education (Gutstein et al., 2005). In that commentary, the concept of equity included both conditions and outcomes of learning. Although multiple definitions of equity exist, the authors of that commentary expressed it this way: “The main issue for us is how mathematics education research can contribute to understanding the causes and effects of inequity, as well as the strategies that effectively reduce undesirable inequities of experience and achievement in mathematics education” (p. 94). That research commentary brought to the foreground important questions one might ask about equity in school mathematics and some of the complexities associated with doing that work. It also addressed how mathematics education researchers (MERs) could bring a “critical equity lens” (p. 95, hereafter referred to as an “equity lens”) to the research they do. Fast forward 10 years to now: Where is the mathematics education researcher (MER) community in terms of including an equity lens in mathematics education research? Gutiérrez (2010/2013) argued that a sociopolitical turn in mathematics education enables us to ask and answer harder, more complex questions that include issues of identity, agency, power, and sociocultural and political contexts of mathematics, learning, and teaching. A sociopolitical approach allows us to see the historical legacy of mathematics as a tool of oppression as well as a product of our humanity.