The Analysis of the Problems Posed by Pre-service Elementary Teachers for the Addition of Fractions

Dogan-Coskun S.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INSTRUCTION, vol.12, no.1, pp.1517-1532, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.29333/iji.2019.12197a
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1517-1532


The purpose of this study is to analyze pre-service elementary teachers' problems in terms of the different meanings of the addition of fractions and to determine the types of errors made in these problems. Data were collected from 83 pre-service elementary teachers in the spring semester of the 2016-2017 academic year by means of a problem posing test related to the addition of fractions. The problem posing test consisted of four questions asking pre-service elementary teachers to pose a problem corresponding to fractions given in a symbolic form. After the problems posed by pre-service elementary teachers were categorized as a problem, not-a-problem, or unable to pose a problem via content analysis method, the meanings, part-part-whole and joining, incorporated into these problems were analyzed. Finally, the types of errors made in these problems were classified. The analysis of the posed problems indicated that although most of the pre-service elementary teachers were able to pose problems, less than one-fourth of these problems were appropriate for the given symbolic form of the addition of fractions. The subsequent meaning analysis of the problems revealed that pre-service elementary teachers were more successful in posing part-part-whole problems than in posing join problems. In terms of error types, the majority of pre-service elementary teachers made the error of failure in establishing part-whole relationship.