Proportional Reasoning: How do the 4th Graders Use Their Intuitive Understanding?

Sylvana Novilia Sumarto, Frans van Galen, Zulkardi Zulkardi, Darmawijoyo Darmawijoyo


In Indonesia, the proportion is being taught formally in Grade 5 (10-11 years old). However, the existing learning approach does not support the development of the students’ proportional reasoning. The way to teach proportion by giving cross multiplication is not meaningful for the students. They just memorize the procedure without understanding how it works. Within a design research, a learning sequence was developed for Grade 4 students (9-10 years old) in order to develop their proportional reasoning as well as their ability to solve the proportional problem before they learned more formally in Grade 5. The students of Grade 4 might have an intuitive understanding about proportionality and they might be able to deal with the comparison problem. How do they use this intuitive understanding to solve the comparison problem and what kind of difficulties that they faced? These questions were addressed through the analyzing of the students’ work on the pretest and the video of students’ interview. The result shows that the students’ intuitive understanding, in principle, can help them to deal with the comparison problem. The students’ experience may lead them to use the concept of proportionality instead of the absolute value in simple comparison problem.

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International Education Studies ISSN 1913-9020 (Print), ISSN 1913-9039 (Online)

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