Virtual vs. Concrete Manipulatives in Mathematics Teacher Education: Is One Type More Effective than the Other?
Current Issues in Middle Level Education Volume 16, Number 2, ISSN 1059-7107
Are virtual manipulatives as effective as concrete (hands-on) manipulatives in building conceptual understanding of number concepts and relationships in pre-service middle grades teachers? In the past, the use of concrete manipulatives in mathematics courses for Clayton State University's pre-service middle grades teachers has been effective in building conceptual understanding of a variety of mathematical topics. This paper presents the results of a three-year study in which 78 middle grades mathematics teacher candidates used various concrete and virtual manipulatives to study fractions, integers and nondecimal-based numbers. They then compared each type of manipulative for ease of use and helpfulness in understanding the concepts addressed.
Hunt, A.W., Nipper, K.L. & Nash, L.E. (2011). Virtual vs. Concrete Manipulatives in Mathematics Teacher Education: Is One Type More Effective than the Other?. Current Issues in Middle Level Education, 16(2), 1-6.