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Grade 9 learners’ understanding of fraction concepts: Equality of fractions, numerator and denominator


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Title Grade 9 learners’ understanding of fraction concepts: Equality of fractions, numerator and denominator
Creator Moyo, Methuseli Machaba, France M.
Subject — fraction; equality; numerator; denominator; misconceptions; manipulatives
Description Our research with Grade 9 learners at a school in Soweto was conducted to explore learners’ understanding of fundamental fraction concepts used in applications required at that level of schooling. The study was based on the theory of constructivism in a bid to understand whether learners’ transition from whole numbers to rational numbers enabled them to deal with the more complex concept of fractions. A qualitative case study approach was followed. A test was administered to 40 learners. Based on their written responses, eight learners were purposefully selected for an interview. The findings revealed that learners’ definitions of fraction were neither complete nor precise. Particularly pertinent were challenges related to the concept of equivalent fractions that include fraction elements, namely the numerator and denominator in the phase of rational number. These gaps in understanding may have originated in the early stages of schooling when learners first conceptualised fractions during the late concrete learning phase. For this reason, we suggest a developmental intervention using physical manipulatives to promote understanding of fractions before inductively guiding learners to construct algorithms and transition to the more abstract applications of fractions required in Grade 9.
Publisher AOSIS Publishing
Date 2021-10-21
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Qualitative
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/pythagoras.v42i1.602
Source Pythagoras; Vol 42, No 1 (2021); 13 pages 2223-7895 1012-2346
Language eng
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Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Methuseli Moyo, France M. Machaba