# Informal knowledge of long division among pupils in the third and fourth grade of elementary school

Tjaša Skvarča (2019) Informal knowledge of long division among pupils in the third and fourth grade of elementary school. MSc thesis.

 Preview
PDF

## Abstract

In schools, pupils are taught formal methods that are not understandable to all of them. Consequently, they gradually stop being used in everyday lives and are substituted by informal ones, which are based on understanding, instead. This Master's Thesis contains a representation of the mathematical operation of division and its two typical structures. The process of long division along with manners of incorporating it into schools is introduced in greater detail. The concepts of informal and formal knowledge and its characteristics are also presented. We touch upon the notion of motivation and means of encouraging it in Mathematics Class. Since one of them is also the use of teaching accessories, we presented some of the basic ones in this Thesis. The purpose of the Thesis is to establish which of the formal strategies for long division calculation solving, previously unknown to pupils in the third and fourth grade of Elementary School, are used. Consequently, we are interested in differences between the used strategies of pupils in the third and fourth grade and whether the level of prior knowledge affects the successfulness of performance if long division is carried out via informal procedures. We are also interested in whether pupils tend to use teaching accessories if available, and what drives them to solve unknown mathematical problems. Results show that prior knowledge has less influence on the successfulness of long division problem solving than expected and that pupils tend to use teaching accessories often if given the chance. Results show different, suitable and unsuitable, long division problem-solving strategies that were used by pupils of third and fourth grade. Pupils are highly motivated for formerly unknown long division problem-solving. Research in the field of observing the pupil’s own inventions of algorithms for calculating can help raise awareness of the importance of the use of informal methods. We wish for teachers to shed light on positive aspects of using such methods rather than focusing on the negative ones. The use of informal methods could improve the overall knowledge of pupils as it can help develop pupils ‘critical ways of thinking and benefit the teachers’ in detecting the source of a topic’s incomprehension more easily.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
Keywords: long division, teaching accessories, formal and informal knowledge, motivation
Number of Pages: 80
Language of Content: Slovenian
Mentor / Comentors:
Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
doc. dr. Vida Manfreda KolarMentor
Institution: University of Ljubljana
Department: Faculty of Education
Item ID: 5746
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 11:58