Assessing Future Teachres' Knowledge on Fractions: Written Tests vs Concept Cartoons
Keywords:Concept Cartoons; fractions; future primary school teachers; problem solving; word problems
The contribution investigates opportunities that an educational tool called Concept Cartoons can offer in future teachers' education, namely in comparison with word problems in standard written tests. The referred empirical study was conducted in two separated consecutive stages, with two groups of future primary school teachers (the first one from the Czech Republic, and the second one from Slovakia). The participants of the first stage solved four word problems (T1, T2, T3, T4) with increasing difficulty within the written test, and a problem with a similar structure and difficulty as T3 but in the Concept Cartoon form. The second stage of the study served as a complementary stage, its participants solved only the word problem T3 and the Concept Cartoon. In both stages, the comparison of results and solution procedures revealed many participants who mastered the word problem(s) but displayed a fundamental misconception when working with the Concept Cartoon. Two thirds of the participants presented non-corresponding responses to these two corresponding tasks: they solved one of them correctly and the other one incorrectly. All of the problems in the study were based on the part-whole interpretation of fractions, the revealed misconception consisted of incorrect determination of the whole.
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