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Representing addition and subtraction: learning the formal conventions

Maclellan, Effie (2001) Representing addition and subtraction: learning the formal conventions. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 9 (1). pp. 73-86. ISSN 1350-293X

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Abstract

The study was designed to test the effects of a structured intervention in teaching children to represent addition and subtraction. In a post-test only control group design, 90 five-year-olds experienced the intervention entitled Bi-directional Translation whilst 90 control subjects experienced typical teaching. Post-intervention testing showed some significant differences between the two groups both in terms of being able to effect the addition and subtraction operations and in being able to determine which operation was appropriate. The results suggest that, contrary to historical practices, children's exploration of real world situations should precede practice in arithmetical symbol manipulation.