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Approaches to solving math problems

Darch, C.
This study compared the effect of the Direct Instruction (DI) program, Corrective Mathematics, with a traditional basal program on students’ ability to solve multiplication and division story problems. Seventy three students from six elementary schools were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: DI with a fixed amount of practice, DI with extended practice, traditional instruction with a fixed amount of practice, and traditional instruction with extended practice. Students in the fixed groups received 11 30-minute lessons over 11 consecutive school days. Students in the extended practice groups received up to eight additional lessons. Posttests were administered one day and eleven days after the conclusion of the intervention. Results from the initial posttest indicate that students in the two DI groups recorded the highest mean scores with 85% correct each. The other two groups scored significantly lower with 65% correct for the traditional extended practice group and 61% correct for the traditional fixed practice group. Results from the follow-up maintenance test indicate that the DI extended practice group recorded an average of 80% correct and the DI fixed practice group had an average of 74% correct. The two traditional groups recorded averages of 65% for the fixed practice group and 54% correct for the extended practice group. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
Math; story problems; discovery learning; multiplication; division; student attitude; student behavior
DI News
Design type:
Posttest only control group design with random assignment
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Elementary students, general education students
Elementary school

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