Summary Literature Review for Common Misconceptions in Regards to Factions

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Summary Literature Review

This assignment will analyse the common misconceptions pupils have when working with fractions. This essay will look at what some the misconceptions are and how we can try to help pupils overcome them.

Common misconception associated with fractions.

Fractions is a great area of mathematics to explore misconceptions as
‘Many errors occur when children work with fractions because of the lack of understanding of the concept of the unit involved.’
Frobisher et al (1999).
Thus this assignment will only to look at a few misconceptions that occur at the beginning of studying fractions. We will look at what the common errors are when pupils are studying fractions and what the literature suggests to help pupils understand fractions and overcome these misconceptions.

Understanding what a fraction represents

Lamon (2005) explains how this is where a lot of misconceptions develop from early on where pupils don’t understand a fraction actually represents. A common error is that pupils look at fractions like they are ‘two unrelated whole numbers’ and would describe ‘2/3’ as ‘two and three’ (Mcleod & Newmarch, 2006). This is also an area which Hart (1981) highlights as when pupils are presented with a fraction ,for example, 2/5 many of the pupils will see this as 5/2 as they do not understand what the fraction represents and it is not interchangeable. Clausen-May (2005) discusses how the use of pictures can be useful to help pupils understand what a fraction means, however the use of pictures to analyse fractions needs to be used with caution as Tipps et al (2008) suggests in the next paragraph. In addition to this technique Morris (2009) suggests ‘avoiding the phrase “out of”’ in order to prevent the whole-number misconception of fractions’.

Comparing Fractions with the same numerator

There are many misconceptions associated…...

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