Chapter

Mathematical Thinking and Learning

Child Psychology in Practice

1. Research Advances and Implications for Practice in Education

  1. Erik De Corte1,
  2. Lieven Verschaffel2

Published Online: 1 JUN 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470147658.chpsy0404

Handbook of Child Psychology

Handbook of Child Psychology

How to Cite

Corte, E. D. and Verschaffel, L. 2007. Mathematical Thinking and Learning. Handbook of Child Psychology. IV:1:4.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Educational Sciences, Center for Instructional Psychology and Technology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

  2. 2

    Department of Educational Sciences, Center for Instructional Psychology and Technology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUN 2007

Abstract

This chapter presents a selective review of the recent research on the development, learning, and teaching of mathematical knowledge and thinking. While school mathematics involves not only arithmetic but also algebra, measurement and geometry, and data handling and probability, the present chapter focuses on arithmetic only, a focus that reflects the preponderance of current psychological and educational research on mathematics education. And within arithmetic the emphasis is on number sense, whole number arithmetic, and word-problem solving—topics that have been stressed in recent reform documents because of their importance for the acquisition in children of basic competence in mathematics. The review is also selective with regard to age range, focusing on primary school children. As a framework for reviewing the literature, and for the presentation and discussion of research-based instructional interventions, we use a model for the design of powerful environments for learning and teaching mathematics that is structured according to four interrelated components, namely, competence (aspects of mathematical proficiency), learning (characteristics of productive mathematics learning processes), intervention (principles for the design of environments for mathematics learning and instruction), and assessment (forms of assessment for monitoring and improving mathematics learning and teaching).

Keywords:

  • classroom assessment;
  • large-scale assessment;
  • mathematical competence;
  • mathematical learning;
  • mathematical thinking;
  • mathematics education;
  • mathematics learning environments;
  • mathemetics-related beliefs;
  • multidigit arithmetic;
  • number sense;
  • single-digit computation;
  • word problem solving