Kamirsyah Wahyu, Taha Ertugrul Kuzu, Sri Subarinah, Dwi Ratnasari, Sofyan Mahfudy


Students show deficient understanding on fraction division and supporting that understanding remains a challenge for mathematics educators. This article aims to describe primary students’ understanding of partitive fraction division (PFD) and explore ways to support their understanding through the use of sequenced fractions and context-related graphical representations. In a design-research study, forty-four primary students were involved in three cycles of teaching experiments. Students’ works, transcript of recorded classroom discussion, and field notes were retrospectively analyzed to examine the hypothetical learning trajectories. There are three main findings drawn from the teaching experiments. Firstly, context of the tasks, the context-related graphical representations, and the sequence of fractions used do support students’ understanding of PFD. Secondly, the understanding of non-unit rate problems did not support the students’ understanding of unit rate problems. Lastly, the students were incapable of determining symbolic representations from unit rate problems and linking the problems to fraction division problems. The last two results imply to rethink unit rate as part of a partitive division with fractions. Drawing upon the findings, four alternative ways are offered to support students’ understanding of PFD, i.e., the lesson could be starting from partitive whole number division to develop the notion of fair-sharing, strengthening the concept of unit in fraction and partitioning, choosing specific contexts with more relation to the graphical representations, and sequencing the fractions used, from a simple to advanced form.


Understanding; Partitive; Fraction division; Unit rate; Design research

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Journal on Mathematics Education
Doctoral Program on Mathematics Education
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