Interpretation of errors in arithmetic

Dewan, Hridaykant (2018) Interpretation of errors in arithmetic. At Right Angles, 7 (3). pp. 48-52. ISSN 2582-1873

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Errors are often referred to as windows into the minds of learners and also as part of the ladder of learning. The effort to look at the work of the learner and attempting to construct the conceptual and procedural underpinning of the responseexpressions of the child provides many insights. This analysis can also be useful in mathematics as it points out the care the teacher may take in conversing with learners as it may offer many learnings and takeaways for the teacher. It has been spelt out sufficiently well that the work of children has to be considered far more carefully than merely sorting into the categories of right and wrong. The manner in which the learner has reached the answer provides insights about the way she thinks and approaches the question. Many times, the answer being correct does not imply that the problem has been tackled appropriately. The correct answer could well be a consequence of fortuitous mistakes and coincidences. In an article ‘Errors or ladders of learning’ many years ago, Agnihotri1 suggested that errors could be the steps in the ladders of learning and indicate the path through which the journey of learning could take place. This has indeed been stated and argued before and after by many persons. In the learning of language there are many examples of this and some of them are relatively better understood. For example, there is the phenomenon of over generalisation in responding to exceptions to the rules. The simplest example is of ‘go’ and ‘goed’ or the example in Hindi of saying टूटाना for तोडना. The formulation presented to the child, 'इस िगलास को मत तोडना' became 'इस िगलास को मत टूटाना. The implied

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Dewan, Hridaykant
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Errors, Correction, Remediation, Column addition, Drill and practice
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Mathematics
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > At Right Angles
Full Text Status: Public
Publisher URL:

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