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ERIC Number: EJ835676
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1041-6080
Inhibiting Interference from Prior Knowledge: Arithmetic Intrusions in Algebra Word Problem Solving
Khng, Kiat Hui; Lee, Kerry
Learning and Individual Differences, v19 n2 p262-268 Jun 2009
In Singapore, 6-12 year-old students are taught to solve algebra word problems with a mix of arithmetic and pre-algebraic strategies; 13-17 year-olds are typically encouraged to replace these strategies with letter-symbolic algebra. We examined whether algebra problem-solving proficiency amongst beginning learners of letter-symbolic algebra is correlated with the ability to inhibit intrusions from the earlier arithmetic strategies. Similar to typical school practice in Singapore, we asked 14 year-old students (N = 157) to use only letter-symbolic algebra to solve 9 algebra word problems. After having controlled for algebraic knowledge, working memory, and intelligence, better inhibitory ability still predicted fewer arithmetic intrusions and higher problem solving accuracy. Path analysis revealed 2 types of inhibition. Inhibition-of-reified-processes predicted accuracy through arithmetic intrusions. Inhibition-of-recently-learned-associations predicted accuracy through intelligence. Findings suggest establishing pedagogical links between arithmetic and algebraic methods may facilitate students' transition to letter-symbolic algebra. (Contains 2 figures and 5 tables.)
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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
Identifiers - Location: Singapore