Turns out, knowing fractions and long division can predict overall math achievement.
Researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Robert Siegler discovered that the understanding of fractions and division is a major source of the achievement gap between U.S. students and other countries, including China, Japan, Finland and others.
They studied two groups of students:
• U.S. students were tested in 1997 as 10-12 year-olds and in 2002 as 15-17 year-olds.
• U.K. students were tested in 1980 as 10 year-olds and in 1986 as 16 year-olds.
Regardless of time, geography, and other factors (parents’ education and income; children’s age, gender, I.Q., reading comprehension, working memory; and knowledge of whole number addition, subtraction and multiplication) – the importance of fractions and division for long-term math success was evident in both groups of children. You can read more at ScienceDaily.com.
This research reinforces the importance of fractions – something numerous teachers told us during the conception and development of Motion Math, our fractions estimation game for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.