South African Journal of Education

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Children struggling to make sense of fractions: an analysis of their argumentation

Amanda Le Roux, Alwyn Olivier, Hanlie Murray


We used Toulmin's scheme for analysis of argumentation to analyse the interaction between three Grade 5 learners solving a common fractions problem. This analysis identified several issues, e.g. the ability of young children to participate in discourse characterised by argumentation, the complexity of the mathematical constructs that children have to deal with, and the nature of their discourse when they grapple with such complexities. The analysis showed that the process was driven by the classroom mathematical culture and the social and socio-mathematical norms, keeping the learners from closing their argumentation prematurely.

South African Journal of Education Vol.24(1) 2004: 88-94

AJOL African Journals Online