The goal of the present article is to synthesize findings to date from the Delaware Longitudinal Study of Fraction Learning. The study followed a large cohort of children (N = 536) between Grades 3 and 6. The findings showed that many students, especially those with diagnosed learning disabilities, made minimal growth in fraction knowledge and that some showed only a basic grasp of the meaning of a fraction even after several years of instruction. Children with low growth in fraction knowledge during the intermediate grades were much more likely to fail to meet state standards on a broad mathematics measure at the end of Grade 6. Although a range of general and mathematics-specific competencies predicted fraction outcomes, the ability to estimate numerical magnitudes on a number line was a uniquely important marker of fraction success. Many children with mathematics difficulties have deep-seated problems related to whole number magnitude representations that are complicated by the introduction of fractions into the curriculum. Implications for helping students with mathematics difficulties are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Health Professions(all)