This chapter has several aims. First, we situate fraction learning within the integrated theory of numerical development, proposed by Siegler, Thompson, and Schneider (2011). The integrated theory asserts that the unifying property of all real numbers is that they have magnitudes or numerical values that can be ordered on the number line. Next, we identify key areas of fraction knowledge and then chart fraction development from early childhood through middle school. In particular, we discuss research findings from our large longitudinal study of fraction learning from third through sixth grade, supported by the US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. The four-year study identified domain-general and domain-specific predictors and concomitants of fraction learning. Overall, we show that fraction development during this formal instructional period is fundamental to mathematics success more generally. Finally, we discuss implications for helping students who struggle with fractions, especially with respect to building numerical magnitude understandings.
|Title of host publication||Mathematical Cognition and Learning series|
|Subtitle of host publication||Acquisition of Complex Arithmetic Skills and Higher-order Mathematics Concepts|
|Place of Publication||London, UK|
|Publisher||Academic Press, Elsevier Inc.|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|