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ERIC Number: EJ884847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Individual Differences in Strategy Use on Division Problems: Mental versus Written Computation
Hickendorff, Marian; van Putten, Cornelis M.; Verhelst, Norman D.; Heiser, Willem J.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v102 n2 p438-452 May 2010
Individual differences in strategy use (choice and accuracy) were analyzed. A sample of 362 Grade 6 students solved complex division problems under 2 different conditions. In the choice condition students were allowed to use either a mental or a written strategy. In the subsequent no-choice condition, they were required to use a written strategy. Latent class analysis showed that there were 3 subgroups of students with respect to pattern of strategy choices: primarily using a written strategy (more girls than boys); primarily using a mental strategy (more boys than girls); and using a written strategy on more difficult items but a mental strategy on the easier ones (almost no weak mathematical achievers). Strategy accuracies were analyzed with explanatory item response theory modeling. A between-subjects comparison in the choice condition showed that written strategies were usually more accurate than mental strategies, especially for the weak achievers. A within-subject comparison showed that the performance of students who used mental calculation on a particular item in the choice condition improved if they were required to use a written strategy in the no-choice condition. (Contains 4 tables, 4 figures, and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands