Project Förderung des Aufbaus von Größenvorstellungen für Bruchzahlen zu Beginn der Sekundarstufe - Behaviorale Effekte…

Basic data

Förderung des Aufbaus von Größenvorstellungen für Bruchzahlen zu Beginn der Sekundarstufe - Behaviorale Effekte und neuronale Korrelate
01/09/2018 to 28/02/2021
Abstract / short description:
Understanding the magnitude information represented by number symbols is an important step of mathematical development in the domain of numbers. However, research shows that many school students struggle with understanding magnitudes represented by symbolic fractions. It is to date unclear how we can theoretically describe the development of fraction magnitude understanding, and how we can foster best this development through instruction.
In an intervention study, we aim at fostering the development of fraction magnitude understanding in German sixth-graders (about 12 years of age). Our study allows us to test empirically the learning effects that we expect based on current theories. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we will be able to describe learning not only on the behavioural but also on the neural level. Previous neuroscience research has gained first insights into the neural correlates of fraction processing in adults. In this project we will investigate whether school students show the same activation patterns as adults do. Furthermore, we will be able to describe for the first time the changes in brain activation arising from learning of fractions. In doing so, this project contributes to the emerging field of research at the intersection between neuroscience and education.
We will use a pre-post test design with one experimental and two control groups. To implement the intervention in a controlled manner, we use a computer-based learning environment, which relies on cognitive psychology and mathematics education theories on the use of external visual representations. The learning environment focuses particularly on linking symbolic and visual representations of fractions. We will use magnetic resonance imaging to map the neural correlates of the learning effects. Due to its high spatial resolution, this method allows identifying the relevant brain structures.
The results from this project will provide empirical support for the effectiveness of a theoretically well grounded teaching approach. The results will also enhance our understanding of the neural correlates of numerical learning more generally. We aim at maximizing the external validity of an interdisciplinary approach by integrating expertise from mathematics education and neuroscience.



Hector Institute of Education Science
Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Local organizational units

LEAD Graduate School & Research Network
Research training groups
University of Tübingen


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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