Place Value Understanding

    Supporting Young Children’s Numeracy and enhancing the Mathematics Pedagogical Content Knowledge of teachers via the use of a custom designed mathematics app

    The purpose of this research is to trial the app [Place Value Chart App] designed by Kortenkamp (2012) to measure how it can be used to support the teaching and learning of mathematics in primary schools in Germany and Australia. Current research conducted in Germany by Ladel and Kortenkamp (2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) proposes the use of Artifact Centric Activity Theory (ACAT) as a design principle for creating mathematics apps. Likewise, in an Australian context, Larkin has used a range of methodological tools (including Cluster Analysis and Productive Pedagogies) to evaluate the usefulness of Geometry or Number apps (Larkin, 2016; 2017; 2018). Both these lines of research have contributed significantly to the theoretical body of knowledge regarding the potential positive affordances of mathematics apps. What is missing in both educational contexts is: a) An evaluation of the practical application of the Place Value Chart App in classrooms; and b) An assessment of the usefulness of the ACAT tool in helping classroom teachers evaluate apps; and c) The impact of the app and the tool to direct their teaching practice with resultant improved outcomes for student learning of mathematics.

    The project is funded by "Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e.V. (DAAD)".


    Kortenkamp, U., Etzold, H., Larkin, K., Ladel, S., & Abt, L. (2020). Impact of Place Value Chart App on Students’ Understanding of Bundling and Unbundling. In A. Donevska-Todorova, E. Faggiano, J. Trgalova, Z. Lavicza, R. Weinhandl, A. Clark-Wilson, & H.-G. Weigand (Hrsg.), Mathematics Education in the Digital Age (MEDA) (S. 231–238).

    Larkin, K., Ladel, S., Kortenkamp, U., & Etzold, H. (2019). Developing student understanding of place value and supporting teachers’ confidence in teaching place value via a digital tool. APMC24, 21–26.


    Involved People
    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kortenkamp, Dr. Heiko Etzold, Prof. Dr. Silke Ladel, Laura Abt, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kevin Larkin

    Project Period
    January 2020 – December 2021

    Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, 13.802,– € (Part for Potsdam University)

    Place Value Understanding, ACAT, Digital Tools