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ERIC Number: EJ998450
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 94
ISSN: ISSN-1098-6065
Supporting Algebraic Reasoning through Personalized Story Scenarios: How Situational Understanding Mediates Performance
Walkington, Candace; Petrosino, Anthony; Sherman, Milan
Mathematical Thinking and Learning: An International Journal, v15 n2 p89-120 2013
Context personalization refers to matching instruction to students' out-of-school interests and experiences. Belief in the benefits of matching instruction to interests is widely held in the culture of schooling; however, little research has empirically examined how interest impacts performance and learning in secondary mathematics. Here we investigate these issues with a series of problem-solving sessions where 24 Algebra I students were presented with story problems on linear functions, some of which were personalized to their interests. Our analyses focus on performance, strategy use, and mistake patterns. Results suggest that personalization supported situational reasoning (Nathan, Kintsch, & Young, 1992) about the actions and relationships in the scenario, improving performance for weaker students and on harder problems. However, personalized scenarios seemed to act as a distraction when stronger students in the sample worked on easier problems. Thus context personalization may have the potential to provide assistance and support performance as students learn new concepts. (Contains 9 tables, 2 figures, and 6 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas