Abstract: It is well known that many students at school and beyond have difficulty understanding decimal notation. This paper reports results of 1853 students from Grade 4 to Year 10 choosing the larger number from pairs of decimals. This sample showed erroneous rule use as found in previous studies, distributed by age in a broadly similar way. Detailed analysis of the test results and data from interviews enabled a detailed description of more than ten ways in which students were interpreting decimal numbers, some of which have not been reported before. The success rates of all but one group of students closely fitted predictions from the refined classification.
Stacey, K. & Steinle, V. (1998) Refining the Classification of Students' Interpretations of Decimal Notation. Hiroshima Journal of Mathematics Education, 6, 49-70.