ERIC Number: ED209655
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Factors Affecting Comprehension of Math Word Problems--A Review of the Research.
Cloer, Thomas, Jr.
The research focusing on students' comprehension of mathematical word problems can be viewed from the math educator's perspective, the reading educator's perspective, or a pedagogical perspective. Math educators emphasize the math aptitude of the learners, a view suggesting that students must possess certain understandings to succeed in mathematics, and that the correlation between math computation skills and the reading of math word problems should be positive and high. While the math educator's perspective has support in the research literature, certain reading skills are also important for success in solving math word problems. Vocabulary development and literal interpretation of the problem seem crucial, while textbook readability is another major factor to consider. Three experiments have demonstrated that three factors interfering with reading and solving math problems that are amenable to instruction are absence of a diagram, presence of extraneous information, and incorrect order of numerical information. A significant percentage of the variance observed on math tests is determined by reading comprehension strategies. This suggests that the math educator's perspective must be expanded to include something in addition to math concepts, generalizations, and number facts. All three perspectives have valid support and offer assistance to educators in teaching skills for solving math word problems. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Word Problems
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Reading Forum (2nd, Sarasota, FL, December 10-12, 1981).