Discussion:  Research Area 
Topic:  Mathematical maturity and lowerorder knowledge & skills 
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Subject:  RE: Mathematical maturity and lowerorder knowledge & skills 
Author:  Mathman 
Date:  Feb 8 2005 
> I am a new member and should probably 'lurk' for awhile before
> posting but I just couldn't resist.
>How else do students understand the value of
> ratios or fractions. They have to understand how division works.
> Now whether one employs long division or another technique, it
> doesn't matter. But before one can get the big picture one must
> understand enough of the little pieces.
Esteban ...jump right in. The water's fine.
As you say, there can be one method [algorithm] or another to reach a result,
but what they need to understand is not som uch the method, but that it is the
means to an end .. in its simplet terms, to find out how many times one portion
will divide another. Waht matters is the understanding of the interplay of
pattern in multiplication anddivision. For an understanding of ratio and
similarity and so on in later years, what is important is a knowledge and
understanding of equivalent fractions.
With regard to your comment about the big picture, I'm with you 100%. Too often
the young are subjected to concepts beyond their understanding. They need to
know the roots, stem and leaves before knowing the entire plant.
David.
 
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