This paper looks at the issue of mathematics learning form a developmental perspective. It begins by focusing on the importance for teahers of understanding how mathematical thinking develops.
The New Zealand Number Framework is used as an example of a developmetnal progression that is of particular relevance to the teaching of mathematics. The paper examines data from the Numberacy Development Project gathered by teachers using the diagnostice interview—the Numeracy Project Assessment (NumPA). The data comes from almost a quarter of a million students whose teachers have participated in the Numeracy Development Project over the past three years.
The two major developmental progressions are explored in the paper—the transition from counting to part-whole strategies, and the move from additive to multiplcative part-whole thinking.
The final section of the paper looks at some practical ways of fostering multiplicative thinking using structured materials.
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