Student and Faculty Spotlight
Rashmi Singh, a TLC doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction with specialization in Mathematics Education, has been awarded a University Fellowship from KSU. The University Fellowship is awarded annually to advanced doctoral students to recognize excellent scholarship and research potential; it enables recipients to commit their time to dissertation research or writing. Rashmi is the first doctoral student from TLC to be awarded this fellowship.
As part of the University Fellowship I am working with my PhD advisor Dr. Karl Kosko, enquiring into the role of structure of number sentences in elementary students’ conception of mathematical equivalence. The emphasis of my work is on place-value with whole numbers and position of unknown in a given number sentence.
We have identified some potential misconceptions of equivalence which are prevalent in elementary students and might potentially hinder students’ overall success in algebra. Based on these findings, we have designed and piloted new assessment and developed a new construct map of equivalence knowledge by improving on the existing frameworks.
Students’ misconception of equivalence in elementary grades is thoroughly researched and well documented. However, some unconventional sources of students’ misconception in this important area are overlooked. The importance of our work is that it provides an improved set of assessment tools for researchers and educators to identify some of these unconventional sources of misconception. We hope that our findings will contribute by helping researchers and educators in developing the proper 'relational' understanding of equivalence among the elementary grade students.