Elementary School Students’ and Prospective Teachers’ Proportional Reasoning Skills

  • Zulbiye Toluk Ucar Abant Izzet Baysal University
  • Figen Bozkus Kocaeli University


The purpose of this study is to investigate prospective elementary school mathematics teachers and elementary school students’ ability to distinguish proportional situations from non-proportional situations. Participants of the study were 319 prospective elementary teachers and 320 elementary school students. Four problems consisting of two proportional and two non-proportional situations were used as a data collection tool. Participants’ strategies were coded as multiplicative, additive, and other. Findings indicated that while elementary school students were dominantly additive reasoners, prospective teachers were multiplicative reasoners. While prospective teachers tended to display multiplicative errors, elementary school students inclined to make additive errors in choice of strategy. It was striking that less than half of the prospective elementary mathematics teachers and only one-third of the prospective primary teachers was able to apply appropriate strategies.