[MATHLINK] Symposium March 10: Insights into predictors and correlates of proportional reasoning

MCLS Trainee mclstrainee at gmail.com
Wed Mar 10 11:55:23 CST 2021

Dear MCLS Community,

Please be sure to join us for our next symposium *“Insights into predictors
and correlates of proportional reasoning*" *tomorrow Thursday, March 11 at
11am EST // 4pm GMT.* We can't wait to hear from Elien Vanluydt (KU Leuven,
Belgium) Jake McMullen (University of Turku, Finland), and Tine Degrande
(KU Leuven, Belgium)! Matthew Inglis (Loughborough University, England)
will join as discussant. See below for an abstract.


Topic: MCLS Symposium: March 11
Time: Mar 11, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 225 833 7242
Passcode: MCLS2020b

   - Also wanted to remind everyone that the submission Qualtrics is now
   open for the 2021 conference
   The call for abstract can be found here
      - Deadlines for all submission types are April 15 and June 1. Neither
      date will receive priority, but submissions for the April 15 deadline are
      more likely to be scheduled earlier in our program.
      - We will have ongoing calls for lightning talks and posters
      throughout the year to be able to address up-to-the-minute
emerging science.
   - We are also inviting reviewers for conference submissions at all
   levels. Volunteer to be a reviewer here

Finally, be sure to mark your calendars for our upcoming events:
*Tuesday, March 16 (9 am EST) *- Cross-representational knowledge:
Connecting fractions and decimals
*Thursday, March 25 (11am EST) *- Principle knowledge in mathematics: its
development, cognitive predictors, and potential interventions
*Tuesday, March 30 (9 am-11am EST // 2 hour workshop) *- Panel Discussion
on the Academic Job Market (confirmed speakers: Camilla Gilmore, Nancy
Jordan, Kerry Lee, Jo-Anne LeFevre, Koleen McKrink, H-C Nuerk)

The MCLS Training Board


Proportional reasoning is a central topic in primary education and is
considered crucial for a variety of topics across primary, secondary, and
higher mathematics (e.g., fractions, probability, algebra, statistics) and
other study domains (e.g., economics, technology, physics). An abundance of
studies however shows that many children encounter difficulties when
dealing with proportions. Given its crucial role in children’s development,
more research is needed to further our theoretical understanding of
proportional reasoning, and to guide interventions.

The present symposium adds to the current research, by not merely looking
at proportional reasoning as such, but by relating it to other research
domains: patterning, probability, rational numbers, and spontaneous
focusing tendencies. The latter research domains have mainly developed
separately, but constitute important predictors and correlates of
proportional reasoning, and therefore are pivotal to investigate in
parallel. The studies in this symposium, moreover, use a variety of
research methods including both cross-sectional and longitudinal data, and
expand the age range of traditional research on proportional reasoning by
covering the range from kindergarten, to primary and middle school.
Together, the talks in this symposium, investigate (1) patterning as a
potential precursor for early proportional reasoning, (2) the relation
between Spontaneous Focusing On multiplicative Relations (SFOR) and
(in)appropriate reasoning in the domain of proportionality, and (3)
parallels between (in)appropriate reasoning in the domain of
proportionality and other mathematical domains.

More specifically, Vanluydt (PhD student at KU Leuven, Belgium), Wijns,
Torbeyns, and Van Dooren longitudinally investigated patterning as a
potential precursor of proportional reasoning. Although patterning has been
put forward as a potential precursor of early proportional reasoning in the
literature, this has not been empirically investigated yet. If proficiency
in patterning in kindergarten explains individual differences in
performance on proportional reasoning problems in early primary school,
more attention to patterns in young children may be a fruitful way to
support early proportional reasoning.

Besides appropriate reasoning, it is also worthwhile to investigate
inappropriate reasoning in the domain of proportionality, as well potential
explanations for this inappropriate reasoning. To this end, McMullen
(Postdoctoral Researcher and Adjunct Professor at the University of Turku,
Finland) and Degrande did not examine typical mathematical skills, but
rather investigated students’ spontaneous mathematical focusing in
non-explicitly mathematical situations. Their study was targeted at
unraveling the relation between SFOR on the one hand, and additive and
proportional word problem solving on the other, in middle school.

Finally, the study of Degrande (Postdoctoral Researcher at KU Leuven,
Belgium), Supply, Van Dooren, and Van Hoof cross-sectionally investigated
parallels between primary school children’s appropriate and inappropriate
reasoning in the domain of proportionality and in distinct but related
domains, namely fractions and probability. This study has implications for
the design of interventions to prevent and remedy inappropriate reasoning
across these domains.

As discussant, Inglis (Professor of Mathematical Cognition at Loughborough
University, United Kingdom), who’s main research focus is mathematical
thinking and learning, will provide a general commentary on the individual
papers and integrate the contributions of the various studies.

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