Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Pendidikan Matematika Realistik Indonesia Sekolah Tinggi Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan



Constructing an understanding of unitizing process was seen from slashes to groups to numerals – from additive systems to numeral systems. This sentence was pointed to what the book of “Young Mathematicians at Work” Chapter 4 has discusses and how the history of numbers goes. These things were commenced from Paleolithical era which is found marks like slashes, or tallies, or carves. In reality, this system was too cumbersome for representing large numbers. Then, in the some years later, the Incas had refined the system introducing the level of quantities: single units, tens, and hundreds. Over the time, various systems had coined in order to refine the previous system. This saved a little of the tedium and cumbersome writing but the simplest calculation remained arduous. For instance, the early of Babylonian times where all the systems developed at that time were additive numeration, each symbol is repeated as many times it has to be added because the value of numbers had no relation with the place value until the combination of positional notation and the idea of zero were invented.

Many young children seemed to have no connection at all with the quantity. After getting the idea of one to one correspondence, children began to represent quantity with pictorial representation – representation by using or relating to pictures. Then, children attempt to represent quantity with iconic representation – representation by using a symbol that represents something. Representing numbers was only some parts of ideas to achieve mathematical goal in understanding of unitizing. Children need a hard effort with the idea, they construct their mathematical thinking to understand what mathematical ideas that required for centuries to develop.


By Ekasatya Aldila Afriansyah

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