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Conceptual knowledge of the associativity principle: a review of the literature and an agenda for future research

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journal contribution
posted on 25.02.2021, 11:17 by Joanne Eaves, Camilla GilmoreCamilla Gilmore, Nina Attridge
Individuals use diverse strategies to solve mathematical problems, which can reflect their knowledge of arithmetic principles and predict mathematical expertise. For example, ‘6 + 38 − 35’ can be solved via ‘38 − 35 = 3’ and then ‘3 + 6 = 9’, which is a shortcut-strategy derived from the associativity principle. The shortcut may be critical for understanding algebra, however approximately 50% of adults fail to use it. We review the research to consider why the associativity principle is challenging and highlight an important distinction between shortcut identification and execution. We also discuss how domain-specific skills and domain-general skills might play an important role in shortcut identification and execution, and provide an agenda for future research.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Trends in Neuroscience and Education

Volume

23

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Trends in Neuroscience and Education and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tine.2021.100152.

Acceptance date

24/02/2021

Publication date

2021-02-27

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

2211-9493

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Camilla Gilmore. Deposit date: 24 February 2021

Article number

100152