During their education cycle in mathematics, students are exposed to algorithms as early as primary school. Several studies show how students frequently learn to perform these algorithms without controlling the mathematical meanings behind them. On the other hand, several National Standards have highlighted the need to construct meanings in mathematics from the first cycle of education. In this paper we focus on division algorithms, investigating to what extent 6th graders can be guided to understanding the whys behind an algorithm, through the comparison of two different algorithms for integer division. Our results suggest, on the one hand, that “it could work!”, and on the other hand, that the exposure to different algorithms for the same mathe- matical operation seems particularly significant for bringing out the whys behind such algorithms, as well as for capturing the difference between a mathematical operation and algorithms for calculating the result of such an operation

### From how to why: A quest for the common mathematical meanings behind two different division algorithms

#### Abstract

During their education cycle in mathematics, students are exposed to algorithms as early as primary school. Several studies show how students frequently learn to perform these algorithms without controlling the mathematical meanings behind them. On the other hand, several National Standards have highlighted the need to construct meanings in mathematics from the first cycle of education. In this paper we focus on division algorithms, investigating to what extent 6th graders can be guided to understanding the whys behind an algorithm, through the comparison of two different algorithms for integer division. Our results suggest, on the one hand, that “it could work!”, and on the other hand, that the exposure to different algorithms for the same mathe- matical operation seems particularly significant for bringing out the whys behind such algorithms, as well as for capturing the difference between a mathematical operation and algorithms for calculating the result of such an operation
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2021
Lisarelli, Giulia; BACCAGLINI-FRANK, ANNA ETHELWYN; DI MARTINO, Pietro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: `https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1104612`