Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 327–348 | Cite as

Pre-service teachers’ flexibility with referent units in solving a fraction division problem

  • Mi Yeon Lee


This study investigated 111 pre-service teachers’ (PSTs’) flexibility with referent units in solving a fraction division problem using a length model. Participants’ written solutions to a measurement fraction division problem were analyzed in terms of strategies and types of errors, using an inductive content analysis approach. Findings suggest that most PSTs could calculate fraction division and make equivalent fractions procedurally but did not have the quantitative meanings of measurement division with fraction quantities or of making equivalent fractions. Implications are discussed for the improvement of PSTs’ specialized knowledge for teaching fraction division.


Fraction division Referent units Visual representations Pedagogical content knowledge Quantitative approach 



An earlier version of this paper was presented at the NIMS (National Institute for Mathematical Sciences) and KSME (The Korean Society of Mathematical Education) International Workshop in 2017.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Teacher PreparationArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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