Proportional reasoning: Connections to ratio and proportion
Proportional Reasoning and Multiplicative Thinking
Proportional reasoning as Fundamental to Numeracy
Proportional Reasoning and the Mathematics Curriculum
Proportional reasoning is an essential component of the school mathematics curriculum. It is more than being able to calculate ratio and proportional exercises or applying formulae to rate situations. Proportional reasoning is about being able to make comparisons between objects or quantities in a multiplicative rather than additive way. That is, the comparison is described using terms such as: double, half, three-times greater; rather than simply describing something as smaller than, or bigger than.
Many topics within the school mathematics curriculum require proportional reasoning, including problem solving with fractions, decimals, percentages, scale, probability, trigonometry, measurement, place value, geometry of plane shapes, algebra. It is also fundamental to topics beyond the mathematics curriculum such as calculations for density, molarity, speed and acceleration, and force, in Science; interpreting timelines in History; mapping in Geography.
Proportional reasoning is also fundamental to real-world and every-day situations, such as:
The development of proportional reasoning is something that takes time. It is fostered by quality learning experiences in which students have opportunities to explore, discuss and experiment with proportion situations. A rich field of potential investigations that link science and mathematics opens up when one considers the multi-faceted and multi-dimensional nature of proportional reasoning.