Children’s arithmetical thinking

Göta Eriksson from Stockholm University has written an article in The Journal of Mathematical Behavior. The article is entitled: Arithmetical thinking in children attending special schools for the intellectually disabled, and it was available online yesterday. The entire article is available at the above link, but here is the abstract:

This article focuses on spontaneous and progressive knowledge building in “the arithmetic of the child.” The aim is to investigate variations in the behavior patterns of eight pupils attending a school for the intellectually disabled. The study is based on the epistemology of radical constructivism and the methodology of multiple clinical interviews. Theoretical models elucidate behavior patterns and the corresponding mental structures underlying them. The individual interviews of the pupils were video recorded. The results show that the activated behavior patterns, which are responses to well-adapted contexts presented by the researcher, are compatible with findings in Swedish compulsory schools. Six of the pupils’ mental structures in the study are numerical. A substantial implication for special education is the harmonization of the content in teaching with the children’s own ways of operating, which implies a triadic teaching process.

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