Zero in arithmetic operations: A comparison of students with and without learning disabilities
Dilşad Güven Akdeniz 1 * , Esra Selcen Yakıcı Topbaş 2, Ziya Argün 2
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1 Mathematics Education, Bayburt University, Bayburt, Turkey
2 Mathematics Education, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
* Corresponding Author


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.



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