Detection and Remediation of Decimal Misconceptions

Abstract: This paper will report on the findings from a large-scale longitudinal study of decimal misconceptions by school students in Melbourne. Over three thousand students from 12 schools were involved and they completed nearly ten thousand tests. Nearly 60% of the one thousand students who were first tested in primary school (Years 4 to 6) were tracked to their secondary school. More than 600 students completed 5 or more tests over 3 years. This very large dataset has provided information about which decimal misconceptions are more prevalent at which year levels and which misconceptions are hardest to leave. Suggestions for teaching to overcome decimal misconceptions are then presented.

Steinle, V. (2004). Detection and Remediation of Decimal Misconceptions. In B. Tadich, S. Tobias, C. Brew, B. Beatty, & P. Sullivan (Eds.), Towards Excellence in Mathematics (pp. 460-478). Brunswick: The Mathematical Association of Victoria.