The effects of early schema acquisition on mathematical problem solving

Daniel Corral, Jill L. Quilici, Abraham M. Rutchick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current paper explores the effects of providing people with schema training at the outset of learning (compared to at later stages) on mathematical word problems modeled after problems from the Graduate Record Examination. Additionally, the ratio of worked examples to problem-solving practice was manipulated. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions and were tested on near and far transfer problems. Participants provided schema training at the outset of learning outperformed those provided schema training after problem-solving practice, particularly on far transfer problems. Likewise, participants provided with a higher ratio of worked examples to problem-solving practice demonstrated better performance during testing than those provided with more problem-solving practice and fewer worked examples. These findings extend the worked example effect to far transfer problems and suggest that providing schema training prior to learning solution strategies may be effective in improving mathematical problem solving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1495-1506
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Research
Volume84
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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