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Title: There is More Than One Way to Skin a Cat: An Exploration of Flexible Mental Multiplication Strategies with Pre-Service Teachers
Contributor(s): Hall, Peter (creator); Whannell, Robert  (supervisor)orcid ; Serow, Penelope  (supervisor)orcid 
Publication Date: 2019-08-06
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The participants demonstrated a poor knowledge of, and performance in, mental multiplication at the level required of Year 5 students. Considering that the majority had experienced schooling in the last 20 years when curriculum planners had emphasised the importance of mental computation skills, there was a distinct lack of knowledge of appropriate strategies for this topic. The use of Hill, Ball and Schilling’s (2008) Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) framework identified deficits in the participants’ knowledge of the topic and their preparedness to teach it. Whilst the intervention was well received, its short duration meant that significant gains could not be made in the participants’ own SCK. The data did show an increase in the range and flexibility of the strategies used to solve mental multiplication problems and an improvement in timed testing results. There was an attitudinal shift of the participants away from a traditional algorithmic approach to the topic towards more flexible, number sensible approaches.
The research is significant as it adds to the literature concerning mental multiplication strategies and possible teaching programs in the later primary years. Whilst there is considerable research concerning mental computation, it has focussed largely on the early years of primary and, in particular, addition and subtraction. Studies of mental multiplication with pre-service and practising teachers are less common as are specific recommendations for appropriate strategies to include in teaching programs (Hartnett, 2007). Both the Australian and NESA outcomes and support documents are vague in this area with few examples of actual strategy use for mental multiplication. It is hoped that this study promotes further discussion of this topic leading to improved curriculum guidelines and flexible teaching approaches.
Publication Type: Dataset
Field of Research (FOR): 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy
130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
130203 Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
930103 Learner Development
Keywords: pre-service teachers
mental multiplication strategies
HERDC Category Description: X Dataset
Description: Access to Thesis provided at the following link:
Project: There is More Than One Way to Skin a Cat: An Exploration of Flexible Mental Multiplication Strategies with Pre-Service Teachers
Dataset Managed By: Robert Whannell
Rights Holder: Peter Hall
Dataset Stored at: University of New England
Primary Contact Details: Robert Whannell -
Dataset Custodian Details: Robert Whannell -
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School of Education

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