THE EFFECT OF COGNITIVE STRATEGY TRAINING ON VERBAL MATH PROBLEM SOLVING PERFORMANCE OF LEARNING DISABLED ADOLESCENTS.
KeywordsDevelopmentally disabled children -- Education.
Logic, Symbolic and mathematical -- Study and teaching (Secondary)
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study investigated the effect of an eight-step cognitive strategy on verbal math problem solving performance of six learning disabled adolescents. The research was conducted in an applied setting by the investigator, the students' learning disabilities teacher. The cognitive strategy was designed to enable students to read, understand, carry out, and check verbal math problems that are encountered in the general math curriculum at the secondary level. A multiple baseline across individuals design permitted demonstration of the effectiveness of the strategy. Conditions of the experiment included baseline, treatment, generalization, maintenance, and, for two students, retraining. During treatment, students received strategy acquisition training over three sessions. When the students demonstrated verbalization of the eight strategy steps from memory, strategy application practice and testing commenced. Utilization of the strategy and improved performance were measured by scores on tests of two-step verbal math problems. The number of correct responses and the number of minutes taken to complete each test were recorded on graphs. Visual analysis of the data indicated that this eight-step cognitive strategy appeared to be an effective intervention for this sample of students who had deficits in verbal math problem solving. Overall, the students demonstrated improved performance on two-step verbal math problems with four of the six students generalizing the use of the strategy to three-step problems. Four students maintained improved performance over a two-week lapse in instruction and practice. Substantial increases were noted for the amount of time required to complete the verbal math problem solving tests immediately following strategy acquisition training. Completion time rapidly stabilized to an acceptable level. This study has implications for an alternative teaching methodology that focuses on cognitive strategy training to improve verbal math problem solving for learning disabled youngsters. Future research could offer evidence of the applicability of cognitive strategy training to other populations and further delineate the characteristics of students who do and do not benefit from cognitive strategy intervention.
Degree ProgramSpecial Education