Episode 23

Exploring Real Numbers as Rational Number Sequences With Prospective Mathematics Teachers


January 4th, 2021

35 mins 22 secs

Season 6

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About this Episode

The understandings prospective mathematics teachers develop by focusing on quantities and quantitative relationships within real numbers have the potential for enhancing their future students’ understanding of real numbers. In this article, we propose an instructional sequence that addresses quantitative relationships for the construction of real numbers as rational number sequences. We found that the instructional sequence enhanced prospective teachers’ understanding of real numbers by considering them as quantities and explaining them by using rational number sequences. In particular, results showed that prospective teachers reasoned about fractions and decimal representations of rational numbers using long division, the division algorithm, and diagrams. This further prompted their reasoning with decimal representations of rational and irrational numbers as rational number sequences, which leads to authentic construction of real numbers. Enacting the instructional sequence provides lenses for mathematics teacher educators to notice and eliminate difficulties of their students while developing relationships among multiple representations of real numbers.