Title

An investigation of Effective Cognitive Strategy Instructional Practices for Mathematical Problem Solving

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Abstract

The primary purpose of the research study was to compare two cognitive strategies to increase word problem accuracy in fourth grade students with learning disabilities. Treatment 1 was the cognitive strategy termed UPS Check based on George Polya's principles of problem solving. Treatment 2 was the cognitive strategy termed Think Back created to combine cognitive strategy methods with schema-based instructional practices. To best compare the two cognitive strategies an alternating treatment design was utilized. Statistical analyses of the alternating treatment data showed a difference between slopes to equal 0.06 and a paired t value of t(2)=4.14. The difference between slopes indicated the effect difference. A student with similar characteristics to the students in the study would require 17 additional sessions with the UPS Check strategy to increase word problem accuracy by one problem. The paired t value indicates at a 0.05 level of confidence that the null hypothesis is rejected and the alternative hypothesis is accepted. The conclusions of the study resulted in accepting the hypothesis that the Think Back strategy had a more rapid increase in word problem accuracy for fourth grade students with learning disabilities.

Advisor

Harvetta Henry

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology

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