Future middle school teachers’ performance on proportional relationship tasks and their use of meanings for multiplication and division
Kursav, Merve Nur
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This study examines the solution methods that future middle school teachers chose when solving a problem from two perspectives on proportional relationships and the extent to which they explicitly utilized features from instruction including the use of equations, math drawings, and quantitative meanings for multiplication and division. The perspectives are called multiple batches and variable parts, and each supports multiple solution methods. The data were collected from a sample of 22 future middle-grade teachers’ exams completed as part of a content course at a large university in the Southeastern United States. Findings revealed that (a) future middle grade teachers were able to use the two perspectives after completing a two-semester sequence of content courses emphasizing topics related to ratio, proportional relationships, fraction division, algebra, and the meaning of multiplication, (b) future teachers who used strategies based on multiple batches and variable parts performed well on proportional relations tasks, and (c) when allowed to choose methods future teachers used one based on partitive division most often.