Reasoning with fractions: Supporting pre-service teachers’ learning

Jana Visnovska, Kym Fry


We report on a mathematics education course for primary pre-service teachers (PSTs) in which both mathematical and pedagogical learning is essential. Part of this course is devoted to supporting PSTs in (a) strengthening conceptual understanding of fractions and (b) coming to imagine ways in which fractions can be effectively introduced in primary classrooms. In collaborative group work on fraction activities, PSTs generated solutions that were very different from those of year 3-5 pupils. This was unexpected and led to new insights and learning for the instructors. We draw implications about supporting the PSTs’ development of deeper mathematical reasoning in circumstances where prior mathematical learning limits their problem-solving skills and creativity. This work contributes to a larger effort of developing resources that could enhance adults’ learning across STEM disciplines.


mathematics education, pre-service teacher education, primary teaching, fractions as measures, mathematical investigations, learning sequence

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