The effects of Metacognitive Strategy and Attributional Interventions on the ability of students' to solve mathematical word problems

Year: 1995

Author: Gillies, Rebecca, Walker, Richard, Bailey, Michael

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Metacognition has been shown to be a determinant of success in a variety of academic settings, particularly in the domain of reading comprehension (Palinscar & Brown, 1984). Student achievement in metacognitive interventions has been further increased by the addition of an attributional component to training studies ( Carr & Borkowski, 1989; Chan, 1993). In the area of mathematics, strategy instruction has resulted in a reasonable degree of success (Montague & Bos, 1986), however, combined attributional training and strategy instruction has not been attempted. There are good reasons for believing that while metacognitive training in mathematics will enhance achievement, combined metacognitive and attribution training will improve achievement to a greater extent.

In this study, thirty-eight fifth grade students of mixed ability received mathematical strategy instruction over a period of four weeks.

The design involved two treatment types: strategy only instruction (N= 19) and combined attributional and strategy instruction (N=19). In addition, nine students from each treatment type acted as a control, prior to receiving the strategy only instruction or the combined instruction. The data from the study is currently being collected and will be analysed using the technique of analysis of covariance.

Palinscar, A.S., & Brown, A.L. (1984) Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities.

Cognition and Instruction, 1, 117-175.

Carr, M., & Borkowski, J.G. (1989). Attributional training and the generalisation of reading strategies with underachieving children.

Learning and Individual Differences, 1, 327-341.

Chan, L.K.S. (1993). Combined strategy and attributional training for seventh grade average and poor readers. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education, Fremantle. November 22- 25.

Montague, M., & Bos, C.S. (1986). The effect of cognitive strategy training on verbal math problem solving performance of learning disabled adolescents. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 19, 26-33.