Focusing attention to deep structure in math problems: Effects on elementary education students with and without attentional deficits

Kercood, Suneeta; Zentall, Sydney S.; Lee, David L.
January 2004
Learning & Individual Differences;Jan2004, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p91
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of actively categorizing math problems on the math problem solving performance of students with and without attention deficit disorder (ADD). To this purpose, 52 fifth and sixth grade students were involved in actively categorizing or noncategorizing (control) tasks followed by two problem solving activities. The results of this study indicated that students more frequently organize math problems by categories based on deeper structures (i.e., concepts or operations) when they were informed of the features to look for than students who organized math problems on their own. However, those students who actively organized the math problems and formed categories on their own had higher accuracy in an assessment of generality in a subsequent problem solving task than students who were earlier given categories. These effects were similar for both groups and provided generality to prior research on recall performance to assessing problem solving.


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