ERIC Number: ED124418
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Mar-12
Instructing Junior High School Students in Problem Solving Strategies.
Malin, Jane T.
Effects of strategy instructions on the problem-solving performance of junior high school algebra students was investigated in two experiments. In the first experiment, three groups of students were instructed to solve algebra problems using a backward, forward, or mixed directon of search. The pattern of solution times and errors indicated that the students followed the instructions, and that the efficiency of each direction-of-search strategy was strongly related to the probability of starting the solution incorrectly ("entering a blind alley"). The mixed strategy proved difficult for junior high school students. In the second experiment, instructions were given on how to identify and respond to blind alleys. The effect of instructions varied with the search strategy used (backward or forward). Although overall results showed that forward search groups performed significantly better than the backward search groups when blind alleys were entered, when forward and backward groups received full instructions for dealing with blind alleys no difference was observed. The pattern of results suggests that the optimum strategy depends on the problem type, but that if the backward strategy is chosen, it should be combined with full blind-alley instructions. (Author/SD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association (83rd, Chicago, August 30 - September 3, 1975)