What lies beneath? Conceptual connectivity underlying whole number arithmetic

Joanne Mulligan, Geoff Woolcott

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Whole number arithmetic (WNA) is considered central to mathematics in the modern industrialised world. New developments in the cognitive and neurocognitive sciences, however, propose that WNA should be viewed in relation to the domain of mathematics more broadly and the real world interactions from which mathematics have developed. This may require mathematics to be conceptualised as a coherent domain that develops from human interaction, and that is reliant on spatial negotiation of one’s environment. A lens on conceptual connectivity integral to an awareness of spatial pattern and structure, therefore, may offer a more complete picture of the connectivity that underlies WNA. A stronger focus on ‘non numerosity’ attributes of mathematics learning and how they underpin WNA and mathematics more generally is proposed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPrimary mathematics study on whole numbers
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) study 23 conference proceedings
    EditorsXuhua Sun, Berinderjeet Kaur, Jarmila Novotná
    Place of PublicationMacao, China
    PublisherUniversity of Macau
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)9789996510663
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventInternational Commission on Mathematical Instruction (23rd : 2015) - Macao, China
    Duration: 3 Jun 20157 Jun 2015


    ConferenceInternational Commission on Mathematical Instruction (23rd : 2015)
    CityMacao, China


    • number
    • spatial reasoning
    • structural grouping
    • whole number arithmetic


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