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Mathematics -- Study and teaching


This case study of a PST's understanding of regrouping with multidigit whole numbers in base-10 and non-base-10 contexts shows that although she seems to have all the knowledge elements necessary to give a conceptually based explanation of regrouping in the context of 3-digit numbers, she is unable to do so. This inability may be due to a lack of connections among various knowledge components (conceptual knowledge) or a lack of connections between knowledge components and context (strategic knowledge). Although she exhibited both conceptual and strategic knowledge of numbers while regrouping 2-digit numbers, her struggles in explaining regrouping 3-digit numbers in the context of the standard algorithms indicate that explaining regrouping with 3-digit is not a mere extension of doing so for 2-digit numbers. She also accepts an overgeneralization of the standard algorithms for subtraction to a time (mixed-base) context, indicating a lack of recognition of the connections between the base-10 contexts and the standard algorithms. Implications for instruction are discussed.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in The Journal of Mathematical Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, Volume 31, Issue 2, (2012), Pages 220–234. This article can be found online at:



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