Are representations to be provided or generated in primary mathematics education? Effects on transfer

J. Terwel, H.J.M. van Oers, I.M.A.W. van Dijk, P. van den Eeden

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

With regard to transfer, is it better to provide pupils with ready-made representations or is it more effective to scaffold pupils' thinking in the process of generating their own representations with the help of peers and under the guidance of a teacher in a process of guided co-construction? The sample comprises 10 classes and 239 Grade 5 primary school students, age 10-11 years. A pretest-posttest control group research design was used. In the experimental condition, pupils were taught to construct representations collaboratively as a tool in the learning of percentages and graphs. Children in the experimental condition outperformed control children on the posttest and transfer test. Both high- and low-achieving pupils profited from the intervention. This study shows that children who learn to design are in a better position to understand pictures, graphs, and models. They are more successful in solving new, complex mathematical problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-44
Number of pages20
JournalEducational Research and Evaluation
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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