All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Constance Kamii

Advisory Committee Members

Charles Calhoun

Lois Christensen

Lynn Kirkland

Deborah Strevy

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


The Common Core State Standards (2010) requires the quantification of area with the formula for a rectangle, length multiplied by width. More specifically, according to the Standards, third graders are to find the area of a rectangle by tiling it and showing that the area is the same as it would be from multiplying the side lengths. Is this a realistic expectation for third graders? The present study focuses on how children quantify area after receiving instruction on length x width, when asked to compare two rectangles having different dimensions. Fourth, sixth, and eighth graders were interviewed to find out how they quantify areas. It was found that even eighth graders did not use the formula and approached the questions at cognitively much lower levels. The educational implications are discussed.

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