Posing and Solving Word Problems: the Impact On Second Graders' Achievement Scores, Self-Efficacy, and Attitude

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

Fall 2012


The purpose of this study was to determine if the scaffolding and discourse integrated into Posing and Solving Story Problems (Burk & Snider, 1996) had an impact on student achievement as measured by a standardized test, student attitude, and student self-efficacy. No previous studies of this model had been preformed. The methods used were a mixed methods quasi-experimental design. Four classes from two different campuses in the same district provided the control and intervention groups. The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills was used as a pre- and post-test in the quantitative portion of the study. Six key informants were intentionally selected for the qualitative portion of the study. The two informants from the middle ability group of each class were removed from the school during the twelve weeks of the intervention. The remaining four informants participated in a pre- and post-interview, were observed by their teachers during the intervention with observations recorded, and had their student products collected. Inter-rater reliability was established for the interviews. Open- and axial-coding (Berg, 2007) were used to determine if there was change during the twelve weeks. Limiting the intervention to three units presented in twenty minute sessions over a twelve week period negated some of the premises of the model. This was done to reduce the possible number of variables. The quantitative data showed gain for both control and intervention groups with no significant difference between the scores. The qualitative portion showed a positive impact on student attitude towards the model. In addition, there was a positive impact on the students' ability to create and solve word problems. The students also enjoyed participating in the discourse by demonstrating methods of solving problems. It also showed that the established classroom culture did not encourage student to student discourse. The brief intervention did not change the classroom culture. In addition, it did not impact student self-efficacy, which was more strongly influenced by the existing classroom culture.


Wayne M. Linek

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Leadership