
Students and decimal notation: Do they see what we see?
Abstract: While a test based on comparing pairs of decimal numbers seems to address only a small portion of the curriculum, it is the pattern of errors that students make on this task that allows us to hypothesize what they may be thinking about decimal numbers. A student who holds an incorrect view of what decimals are will probably spend most of their schooling rotelearning meaningless algorithms for the manipulation and comparison of decimals. The important skill of estimation is disabled if any problem involving decimals creates a sense of disorientation. Rounding numbers and using scientific notation will also be meaningless activities.
Steinle, V., & Stacey, K. (1998a). Students and decimal notation: Do they see what we see? In J. Gough & J. Mousley (Eds.), 35th annual conference of the Mathematics Association of Victoria (Vol. 1, pp. 415422). Melbourne: MAV. 