Dotty Triangles

Helen Thouless, Susan Gifford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we compare two frameworks for analysing young children’s responses to the task of copying and extending a 6-dot triangle pattern. We used Mulligan & Mitchelmore’s Awareness of Mathematical Pattern and Structure (AMPS) and then Biggs & Collis’ SOLO taxonomy, both of which provide criteria for assigning levels. In comparison with AMPS, the SOLO taxonomy credited children with more structural awareness at the lower end of the scale, and Fujita and Yamamoto’s extension of this discriminated responses at the upper end. However, one child’s responses made us question what the scales were identifying. We argue that both taxonomies encourage a focus on static outcomes of children’s attention to pattern, but can reveal engagement in a dynamic analytic process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13 -18
Number of pages6
JournalFor the learning of mathematics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019


  • pattern awareness

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