Peter, There is a really good article, written by a prof here at MSU (who, BTW, contributed to the writing of the NCTM Teaching Standards), that discusses some caveats about manipulative use, which you might find useful:
Ball, D. L. (1992). Magical hopes: Manipulatives and the reform of mathematics education. American Educator, 16(2), 14-18, 46-47.
I can see that you get a copy if you are unable to obtain one. Angie ____________________________________________________________ Angie S. Eshelman 116 Erickson Hall Office: (517) 353-0628 Michigan State University E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ____________________________________________________________
At 4:57 PM 4/6/95, Peter J. Smith wrote: >Help! > I am in need of research information supporting the use of >manipulatives to teach mathematics. There is some concern in the Omaha >Public School area that the use of manipulatives is untested as a >successful strategy for teaching mathematics.