ERIC Number: ED300415
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Word Problems: Where Test Bias Creeps In.
Chipman, Susan F.
The problem of sex bias in mathematics word problems is discussed, with references to the appropriate literature. Word problems are assessed via cognitive science analysis of word problem solving. It has been suggested that five basic semantic relations are adequate to classify nearly all story problems, namely, change, combine, compare, vary, and transform relations. The idea that rapid penetration to formal mathematical structure of a problem is the essence of the word problem solution is contrasted to the often sexually-biased psychological reality faced by the examinee. Research on logical reasoning has largely neglected the influence of problem content, which is often sexually biased, on the solution of mathematics word problems. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of research that indicates that problem content has a great influence on performance. Experimental studies on the effects of problem content, incorporating possible sexual biases, are recommended. Four graphs and two tables showing masculine, feminine, and neutral test items conclude the document. (TJH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988). Portions of appendices may be marginally legible.