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Implications for teaching mathematics

Some of the implications of Dienes' theory for the teaching of mathematics are:

  • concrete materials should be used to support early learning of mathematical concepts, and early activities for any given concept should be carefully structured;
  • concepts must be established (constructed) before children are expected to use them;
  • contexts used to teach concepts should contain enough variable elements;
  • a wide variety of contexts, each embodying the same concept, should be used to teach any given concept so as to allow children to perceive the common elements of these various contexts (which form the essence of the concept being taught) and to discard mentally all other elements of these contexts as being irrelevant to the concept which is to be understood.