ERIC Number: ED238735
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Format Variables and Learner Characteristics in Mathematical Problem Solving. Final Technical Report.
Sowder, Larry; And Others
The effect on performance of different formats for typical mathematics story problems was studied, along with the relationship of certain learner variables. More than 1200 children in grades 3-8, including over 220 learning-disabled students, were tested and/or interviewed. Story problems were in the usual format found in textbooks, an abbreviated verbal format also found in some textbooks, and a format in which a drawing carried much of the information about the problem. It was found that, for most children, the abbreviated format did not result in better performance. The drawn format helped some children, especially those at the lower ends of scales measuring cognitive restructuring and reading comprehension. Learning-disabled children experienced some success, even with problems containing extraneous information. Overall, females scored higher than males on a reading test, but males tended to score higher on problem and cognitive tests. Limits of working memory and deficiencies in understanding the meanings of operations are hypothesized to explain some of the results. (Author/MNS)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Educational Research, Elementary School Mathematics, Elementary Secondary Education, Learning Disabilities, Learning Modalities, Mathematics Instruction, Problem Sets, Problem Solving, Reading Skills, Secondary School Mathematics, Sex Differences, Spatial Ability, Student Characteristics
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mathematics Education Research