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ERIC Number: EJ775075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 17
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1081-4159
Visual-Spatial Representation in Mathematical Problem Solving by Deaf and Hearing Students
Blatto-Vallee, Gary; Kelly, Ronald R.; Gaustad, Martha G.; Porter, Jeffrey; Fonzi, Judith
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, v12 n4 p432-448 2007
This research examined the use of visual-spatial representation by deaf and hearing students while solving mathematical problems. The connection between spatial skills and success in mathematics performance has long been established in the literature. This study examined the distinction between visual-spatial "schematic" representations that encode the spatial relations described in a problem versus visual-spatial "pictorial" representations that encode only the visual appearance of the objects described in a problem. A total of 305 hearing (n = 156) and deaf (n = 149) participants from middle school, high school, and college participated in this study. At all educational levels, the hearing students performed significantly better in solving the mathematical problems compared to their deaf peers. Although the deaf baccalaureate students exhibited the highest performance of all the deaf participants, they only performed as well as the hearing middle school students who were the lowest scoring hearing group. Deaf students remained flat in their performance on the mathematical problem-solving task from middle school through the college associate degree level. The analysis of the students' problem representations showed that the hearing participants utilized visual-spatial schematic representation to a greater extent than did the deaf participants. However, the use of visual-spatial schematic representations was a stronger positive predictor of mathematical problem-solving performance for the deaf students. When deaf students' problem representation focused simply on the visual-spatial pictorial or iconic aspects of the mathematical problems, there was a negative predictive relationship with their problem-solving performance. On two measures of visual-spatial abilities, the hearing students in high school and college performed significantly better than their deaf peers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A