Proportional reasoning is a powerful and essential concept that lays the foundation for a range of mathematical topics, from basic arithmetic to more complex areas of mathematics. It involves understanding proportional relationships between different quantities, determining the amount one variable changes when another variable changes, and recognizing patterns in proportional relationships.

By fostering an understanding of proportional reasoning, students are able to make connections between various mathematical principles and see the relationship between abstract ideas and real-world applications. Proportional reasoning is thus seen as an integral component of mathematical learning and provides a framework for developing and deepening Mathematical thinking.

**Although proportional reasoning is often considered the foundation of abstract mathematical understanding, it is estimated that over ½ of the adult population are not proportional thinkers. Many believe this is a direct result of experiencing procedural methods in schooling instead of developing conceptual understanding.**

Proportional reasoning is an incredibly valuable math concept that is one of the four pillars of mathematics. It requires students...

Proportional Reasoning?

Early in math learning, students use proportional reasoning when, for example, they think of 8 as two fours or four twos rather than a whole number. Later in education, they may use proportional reasoning tothink of how a speed of 50km/h is the same speed as 25km/30 min. In learning, students will continue to use proportional reasoning when thinking about percentages, the slope of lines and rates of change.

The formal work on proportional reasoning is typically completed in Grades 9 or 10, but students may continue to use it in trigonometry or scale diagrams.

Relationships are a key component in mathematics, and proportional reasoning relies heavily on comparisons of quantities and values. It is a complex concept to define but is sometimes perceived as only being the study of ratios, rates, and rational numbers.

Tailor your child’s education to their unique needs and interests. Our flexible resources allow you to customize lessons and activities, ensuring your child’s learning journey is as unique as they are.

It is seen throughout math, from the very basic to the more complex topics such as algebra and geometry. Proportional reasoning helps to understand that numbers and equations represent real-world scenarios and can be manipulated to discover patterns, solve problems, and even make predictions.

By mastering proportional reasoning, students can think abstractly, helping them explore deeper meaning within mathematical relationships and ideas. Moreover, proportional reasoning is a unifying theme in mathematics – meaning with a strong foundation in proportional thinking, students are ready to tackle more sophisticated concepts confidently.

Proportional reasoning is an important step in the sequence of student development. Students who can successfully distinguish between additive and multiplicative relationships can typically apply proportional reasoning more effectively in various other areas.

What is proportional reasoning?

Proportional reasoning is the ability to see relationships between quantities and to reason about those relationships. It is often

considered the foundation of abstract mathematical understanding, as it allows students to build on their knowledge of quantities and how they relate to each other.

What is an example of a proportional problem?

The oil for your car comes in three sizes – a little 50-ounce bottle on sale for $7.99, a medium 100-ounce bottle for $13.99, and a big 150-ounce bottle on sale for $17.99. So, which one should you purchase to get the best deal?

By using proportional reasoning, we can compare the price per ounce and determine the most cost-effective. The phrase “price per ounce” tells us exactly which ratios we should compare – the price divided by ounces.

Little bottle: $7.99/50 ounces is about $0.16 per ounce. Medium bottle: $13.99/100 ounces is about $0.14 per ounce. Big bottle: $17.99/150 ounces is about $0.12 per ounce. Therefore, the big bottle is the best deal.

How to use proportional reasoning?

Proportional reasoning is a way of thinking about mathematics in terms of proportions. This way of thinking allows us to see relationships between quantities and to understand how changes in one quantity can affect the other. For example, we can use proportional reasoning to figure out how much more or less something costs with a price increase or decrease.