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Living Tree of Mathematics: Fractions from Ancient Egypt to Classic China to Modern Japan. What We Can Learn from Their Effective Ways to Work with, Teach, and Learn Fractions
It is a well-documented fact that many students struggle with fractions. Problems in understanding and applying fractions persist into adulthood, with moderate to severe consequences for everyday and occupational decision making. Why is it that fractions present such a difficult topic conceptually and procedurally? Is it because of deficiencies in teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge? Or is the nature of common, nondecimal fractions quite hard to grasp and internalize? And then, what is the nature of fractions anyway? In this presentation, we will look at the history of fractions and fraction operations in the ancient Egyptian and classic Chinese mathematical traditions as well as modern Japanese teaching approaches. These exercises will help us define some effective ways to understand, teach, and learn fractions.

May 25, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Vera Sarina
Lecturer @Faculty of Education, Western University, Ontario
Vera Sarina has been a teacher for more than two decades. Her undergrad degree was in mathematical linguistics but after a few years working on research she found her calling in teaching. She taught coding to young children, mathematics and other subjects in primary, intermediate and senior Grades, wrote mathematical contests for city and provincial math Olympiads, taught math additional qualification courses for teachers. Currently she teaches math courses to pre-service and graduate students at Western University, Ontario. Her love for history has led her to find many solutions to modern problems of teaching and learning mathematics in the global history of mathematics.