Early Knowledge of Fractions and Long Division Predicts Long-Term Math Success (video) Carnegie Mellon University Share Print E-Mail Loading video... Caption From factory workers to Wall Street bankers, a reasonable proficiency in math is a crucial requirement for most well paying jobs in a modern economy. Yet, over the past 30 years, mathematics achievement of US high school students has remained stagnant -- and significantly behind many other countries, including China, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, and Canada. A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University's Robert Siegler has identified a major source of the gap -- US students' inadequate knowledge of fractions and division. Although fractions and division are taught in elementary school, even many college students have poor knowledge of them. The research team found that fifth graders' understanding of fractions and division predicted high school students' knowledge of algebra and overall math achievement, even after statistically controlling for parents' education and income and for the children's own age, gender, I.Q., reading comprehension, working memory, and knowledge of whole number addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Published in Psychological Science, the findings demonstrate an immediate need to improve teaching and learning of fractions and division. Credit Carnegie Mellon University Usage Restrictions None Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.