Understanding decimals: The path to expertise

Abstract: This paper reports a longitudinal study of children’s understanding of decimal notation. The understandings of 3211 students were classified into four categories and changes over long periods were tracked. The progress of sixty-four students over about three years is reported. When expertise is attained it is generally retained. Over about a year, many students remain in the same misconception category, but in the longer term they move between misconceptions. Improvements and hypotheses to be investigated in the future are noted.

Stacey, K., & Steinle, V. (1999b). Understanding decimals: The path to expertise. In J. M. Truran & K. M. Truran (Eds.), Making the difference. Proceedings of the 22nd annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (pp. 446-453). Adelaide : MERGA.