SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.23 issue1Fourth grade students' performance on subitizing and estimation tasks, and School Performance Test (TDE)Self-efficacy in mathematics problem solving and related variables author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


LAUTERT, Sintria Labres  and  SPINILLO, Alina Galvão. Solving word division problems by reflecting on the role played by the remainder. Temas psicol. [online]. 2015, vol.23, n.1, pp. 15-27. ISSN 1413-389X.

Children's difficulties with division are well known in the literature. One may ask whether these difficulties would be overcome if children had concentrated experience with problem-solving situations involving discussions about the role played by the remainder. This idea was tested in an intervention study carried out with 100 third grade low-income Brazilian children (8 to 11 years old) who experienced difficulties with division. They were equally assigned to an experimental and a control group. All participants were given a pre- and a post-test consisting of 12 division word problems. Children in the experimental group were given an intervention involving a large variety of problem solving situations. They were asked to discuss their thought processes while the examiner explicitly talked with them about the remainder and the equality of the parts. No significant differences were found among the groups in the pre-test. After the intervention, children in the experimental group gave more correct responses than in the pre-test and were also able to offer justifications expressing an understanding of the operational invariants in the concept of division. The control group showed no improvement when compared in the two testing occasions. The conclusion was that discussion explicitly focusing on the role played by the remainder and on the inverse relations can help children overcome their difficulties with the concept of division.

Keywords : Children; division word problems; remainder; intervention.

        · abstract in Portuguese | Spanish     · text in Portuguese     · Portuguese ( pdf )