Zero in arithmetic operations: A comparison of students with and without learning disabilities

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Akdeniz D. G., Topbaş E. S. Y., ARGÜN Z.

Journal of Pedagogical Research, vol.6, no.3, pp.27-52, 2022 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.33902/jpr.202213737
  • Journal Name: Journal of Pedagogical Research
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.27-52
  • Keywords: Arithmetic operations with zero, Clinical interview, Learning disabilities, Mathematics education
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, Duzce University, Faculty of Education. All rights reserved.The aim in the current study is to examine the conceptualizations of zero in arithmetic operations among students with learning disabilities (LD) and no learning disabilities (N-LD). The similarities and differences in the understandings of students with LD and N-LD of zero in arithmetical operations will be discussed. The study is a multiple case study with a qualitative research design. Six students, 3 students with LD and 3 with N-LD aged between 10 and 12 years participated in the study. The data were collected through clinical interviews. The data were analyzed by content analysis. Students‘ limited understanding of zero and operations affects their interpretation of arithmetic operations with zero. The conceptualizations of students with LD and N-LD regarding specifically division by zero show similarities with the exception of their use of the knowledge about operations. It has been observed that LD students have developed a different algorithm when it comes to addition and multiplication with zero. Through this study examining the differences in the understandings of students with LD and N-LD on a specific concept in terms of underlying conceptions, it is thought to provide an insight in terms of discovering LD and a more detailed recognition of these students' mathematics.