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Fostering children’s adaptive use of mental arithmetic strategies: A comparison of two instructional approaches
A. Heinze, M. Grüßing, J. Arend, F. Lipowsky

Fostering children’s adaptive use of mental arithmetic strategies: A comparison of two instructional approaches

Journal of Mathematics Education

The adaptive use of strategies to solve problems efficiently is an important goal of arithmetic education. In this article, we examine conceptual and empirical literature related to arithmetic content and pedagogy about students’ adaptive use of strategies. Theoretically, two distinct instructional approaches to foster arithmetic strategies have been identified: an explicit approach emphasizing teacher-directed instruction and an implicit approach based on child-initiated inventions. We compare both instructional approaches by contrasting their assumptions, their primary focus, and their expected effects on student learning. Research results from each approach are examined, and we suggest several avenues of useful research on mental arithmetic pedagogy.