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Is it all in their heads?: A study of the strategies used in mental arithmetic by Swedish pupils in their last years of the obligatory school and in the upper secondary school
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Competence in mental arithmetic is recognised by many as essential to be active participants in the fast flowing, high technological society we live in today.  Many have noticed pupils’ unwillingness to set their calculators aside and practice this aspect of mathematics when possible.  Furthermore, some studies show that pupils’ ability to compute mentally deteriorates as they pass through the school system.  Through testing classes in a Swedish obligatory school and an upper secondary school, the aim of this thesis is to see if the goals set by The National [Swedish] Agency for Education regarding mental arithmetic, are being fulfilled.  Through using questionnaires to collect the strategies and ideas of the pupils, a wide range of problematic mathematical misconceptions became evident.  These are highlighted since they are important aspects teachers should be aware of.  The results of this study show that the obligatory school classes are far from reaching the goals set for them whereas the upper secondary classes show good results.  Furthermore, there is an apparent improvement in their progression, resulting in a fulfilment the official goals.  Many pupils however, seem reluctant to rely on their mental arithmetic capabilities and resort to algorithmic strategies.  Other problems to emerge are in carrying out table calculations and in a lack of number sense when deeming if the answers are reasonable.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , p. 56
Keywords
Mathematics, Mental Arithmetic, Number Sense, Equality Symbol, Decimal Numbers
National Category
Other Mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4615OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-4615DiVA, id: diva2:133415
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok
fysik/kemi/matematik
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2009-01-21 Created: 2009-01-11 Last updated: 2009-01-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf