An Integrated Study of Children's Construction of Improper Fractions and the Teacher's Role in Promoting That Learning

Document Type


Publication Date



In this constructivist teaching experiment with 2 fourth graders I studied the coemergence of teaching and children's construction of a specific conception that supports the generation of improper fractions. The children's posing and solving tasks in a computer microworld promoted a modification in their fraction schemes. They advanced from thinking about a unit fraction as a part of a whole to thinking about it as standing in a multiplicative relationship with a reference whole (the iterative fraction scheme). In this article I report an intertwined analysis of the children's construction of this multiplicative relationship and an examination of the teacher's adaptation of learning situations (tasks) and teacher-learner interactions to fit within the constraints of the children's mathematical activity.