Original article | Turkish Journal of Teacher Education 2018, Vol. 7(1) 1-16
Demet Baran Bulut, Berna Aygun, Ali Sabri İpek
pp. 1 - 16 | Manu. Number: MANU-1811-16-0002
Published online: June 30, 2018 | Number of Views: 305 | Number of Download: 1066
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to enable primary and secondary students (in grades 3, 4 and 5) how to understand the equal sign. The participants of the study were comprised of a total of 245 students selected from two different cities in the East Black Sea region in Turkey. Of the 245 students, who were selected on a voluntary basis, 78, 72, and 95 students were from grades 3, 4 and 5, respectively. The 17-item data collection tool employed in the study was designed by the researchers by making use of the tests developed by Saenz-Ludlow and Walgamuth (1998), Witherspoon (1999), Knuth et al. (2005). The study employed a qualitative research design in which data analysis was based on the method of content analysis in which frequency and percentage analysis techniques were utilized. The findings indicated that students focused more on the operational meaning of the equal sign rather than its relational meaning. Furthermore, it has been found that students are more successful in symbolic representation than other representations. In addition, it was found that students had misconceptions regarding the equal sign. Thus, it is believed that by establishing learning environments in which the equal sign can be used to solve equations presented in problems and multiple representations, the misconceptions that students possess can be minimized.
Keywords: Equal sign, operational meaning , relational meaning, representations
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