Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Paul Swan


The development of students• Number Sense has become a recent focus in primary mathematics education. Students also often learn the multiplication tables by rote in order to develop automatic recall of multiplication facts. One view of mathematics learning suggests that automatic recall of number facts is an important step to developing number sense, while another view suggests that rote learning to develop automatic recall of multiplication facts may interfere with the constructivist learning environment that is required to develop number sense. This study examined whether automatic recall was associated with good number sense or not, and explored factors associated with automatic recall which may affect students' development of number sense. Students from a local school were tested with a timed mental mathematics test and students were asked to reflect on this experience to identify themselves as mostly users of automatic recall or not mostly users of automatic recall. A number sense test on the same multiplication facts was then administered. A chi square analysis was performed on this data, and comparisons made. Interviews were conducted with 13 students from different groups. Analysis of data from these interviews suggests that rote learning of the multiplication tables to develop automatic recall may have had a negative affect on the development of number sense for a small number of students who did not use any strategies other than automatic recall. However, for a large number of students who use other strategies as well as automatic recall, the development of automatic recall had no significant impact on their development of number sense.