Jeff Barrett

Phone: (309) 438 - 7849
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Web Site for Jeff Barrett

How do space and number relate?

Children's Measurement (Project Website)

Research Philosophy


     I am intrigued with the question, “How do children relate number and

space as they learn mathematics?” I am engaged in research
on children’s understanding and strategy development as they learn
measurement. I am the principal investigator for a 4-year
longitudinal research funded by the Discovery Research K-12 Program
at the National Science Foundation. Our project, the Children’s
Measurement Project, involves the design, conduct and analysis of
data from individual and classroom level teaching experiments for
case study children from prekindergarten up into grade 5. These case
studies constitute the backbone of our longitudinal data set on
children’s developing knowledge of geometric measurement of length,
area and volume. We are focusing our investigation on children’s ways
of understanding units of measure through varying visual images
representing gaps, marks, numerals and line segments as elements of
ruler tools to find the interactions among these visual elements. We
are interested in students’ ways of conceptualizing motion along a
path, their concept of elapsed time during number sequence
recitation, and their perception of foreground and background images
relating endpoints of unitary segments and the segments themselves.
As a complement to this teaching experiment data, we have conducted
and analyzed assessments of prekindergarten through grade five
students on the concepts of length, area and volume.