Studies reveal that students as well as teachers have difficulties in understanding and learning of decimals. The purpose of this study is to investigate students’ as well as pre-service teachers’ solution strategies when solving a question that involves an estimation task for the value of a decimal number on the number line. We also examined the pre-service teachers’ anticipation of students’ misconceptions and difficulties for the given task. To conduct our analysis, we conducted interviews with three 5th and three 6th grade students, and eight pre-service teachers. During the interviews we asked them to solve the question and explain their solution strategies. The findings of the study indicate that students and pre-service approach this problem in different ways. However, both groups have a tendency to think of decimals successively and indicate precise answers rather than specifying a range of possible values. We also observed the pre-service teachers could only partially anticipate the misconceptions and difficulties faced by the students.
Girit, D. & Akyuz, D. (2016). Pre-service middle school mathematics teachers’ understanding of students’ knowledge: Location of decimal numbers on a number line. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, 4(2), 84-100. DOI:10.18404/ijemst.74290