ERIC Number: ED372934
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Effects of Using a Problem Solving Approach to Algebra I Instruction.
Wilkins, Cynthia W.
This paper discusses an experiment designed to determine the effects of a problem-solving approach to instruction (PSAI) on eighth grade Algebra I students. Comparisons were made of the scores from the 1991 and 1993 Subject Area Testing Program--Algebra I of skills taught via PSAI and skills taught traditionally. In 1991 (n=56) eighth grade Algebra I students were taught seven skills traditionally and four skills via PSAI. Additional students (n=18) were taught all skills traditionally. Mean scores on the four PSAI skills were significantly higher than the mean scores on the seven skills taught traditionally. In 1993, eighth grade students (n=51) were taught all skills via PSAI and (n=44) students were taught traditionally. Mean scores showed no significant difference between performance on the four skills and the seven skills for either the PSAI or control groups. However, mean scores on the seven skills taught traditionally in 1991 but via PSAI in 1993 increased significantly. It can be concluded that utilizing a problem-solving approach to teaching Algebra I students resulted in higher mean scores. The paper includes additional evidence that the problem-solving technique helps increase retention and provides better transferability for higher level mathematics classes. (Author/MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A