Explicitly Teaching for Transfer: Effects on the Mathematical Problem‐Solving Performance of Students with Mathematics Disabilities

Explored methods to enhance mathematical problem solving for students with mathematics disabilities (MD). A small-group problem-solving tutoring treatment incorporated explicit instruction on problem-solution rules and on transfer. The transfer component was designed to increase awareness of the connections between novel and familiar problems by broadening the categories by which students group problems requiring the same solution methods and by prompting students to search novel problems for these broad categories. To create a stringent test of efficacy, a computer-assisted practice condition, which provided students with direct practice on real-world problem-solving tasks, was incorporated. 40 4th graders were assigned to problem-solving tutoring, computer-assisted practice, problem-solving tutoring plus computer-assisted practice, or control, and pre-and posttested students on three problem-solving tasks. On story problems and transfer story problems, tutoring (with or without computer-assisted practice) effected reliably stronger growth compared to control; effects on real-world problem solving, although moderate to large, were not statistically significant. Computer-assisted practice added little value beyond tutoring but yielded moderate effects on two measures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Authors citation
Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Hamlett, C. L., & Appleton, A. C.
Publication
Learning Disabilities Research & Practice
Year of Study
2002
Subject
Math
Program Evaluated
Explicit instruction on problem-solution rules and transfer
Tutor Type
Teacher
Duration
12 weeks
Sample size
20
Grade Level(s)
4th Grade
Student-Tutor Ratio
3
Effect Size
1.57
Study Design
Randomized Controlled Trial
Full citation
Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Hamlett, C. L., & Appleton, A. C. (2002). Explicitly Teaching for Transfer: Effects on the Mathematical Problem‐Solving Performance of Students with Mathematics Disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice