How to Teach and Assess Whole Number Arithmetic: Some International Perspectives

  • Jarmila NovotnáEmail author
  • Berinderjeet KaurEmail author
  • Ann Gervasoni
  • Mike Askew
  • Michiel Veldhuis
  • Catherine Pearn
  • Xu Hua Sun
Part of the New ICMI Study Series book series (NISS)


This chapter focusses on the diverse theoretical and methodical frameworks that capture the complex relationship between whole number arithmetic (WNA) learning, teaching and assessment. Its aim is to bring these diverse perspectives into conversation. It comprises seven sections. The introduction is followed by a narrative of a Macao primary school lesson on addition calculations with two-digit numbers, and this sets the context for the subsequent three sections that focus on the development of students’ mathematical and metacognitive strategies during their learning of WNA. Apart from examining the impact of teachers’ knowledge of pedagogy, learning trajectories, mathematics and students on children’s learning of WNA, learning theories are also drawn on to interpret the lesson in the Macao Primary School. Two interpretations of the variation theory (VT), an indigenous one and a Western perspective, provide much needed lenses for readers to make sense of the lesson. In addition, the theory of didactical situations (TDS) is also applied to the lesson. The chapter also includes a reflection on possible classroom assessment and the role of textbooks, both of which were less apparent in the lesson, for the teaching and learning of WNA.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, and Laboratoire “Culture et Diffusion des Savoirs”Université de BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  2. 2.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  5. 5.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  6. 6.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  7. 7.The University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  8. 8.Faculty of EducationUniversity of MacauMacaoChina

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