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ZDM

, 43:667 | Cite as

Evaluation of a learning trajectory for length in the early years

  • Julie Sarama
  • Douglas H. ClementsEmail author
  • Jeffrey Barrett
  • Douglas W. Van Dine
  • Jennifer S. McDonel
Original Article

Abstract

Measurement is a critical component of mathematics education, but research on the learning and teaching of measurement is limited, especially compared to topics such as number and operations. To contribute to the establishment of a research base for instruction in measurement, we evaluated and refined a previously developed learning trajectory in early length measurement, focusing on the developmental progressions that provide cognitive accounts of the development of children’s strategic and conceptual knowledge of measure. Findings generally supported the developmental progression, in that children reliably moved through the levels of thinking in that progression. For example, they passed through a level in which they measured length by placing multiple units or attempting to iterate a unit, sometimes leaving gaps between units. However, findings also suggested several refinements to the developmental progression, including the nature and placement of indirect length comparison in the developmental progression and the role of vocabulary, which was an important facilitator of learning for some, but not all, children.

Keywords

Measurement Length Learning trajectory Developmental progressions Hierarchic interactionalism 

Supplementary material

11858_2011_326_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (194 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 194 kb)

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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Sarama
    • 1
  • Douglas H. Clements
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeffrey Barrett
    • 2
  • Douglas W. Van Dine
    • 1
  • Jennifer S. McDonel
    • 1
  1. 1.University at Buffalo, State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Illinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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