If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Use of Worked Examples as a Substitute for Problem Solving in Learning Algebra

John Sweller and Graham A. Cooper
Cognition and Instruction
Vol. 2, No. 1 (1985), pp. 59-89
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3233555
Page Count: 31
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Use of Worked Examples as a Substitute for Problem Solving in Learning Algebra
Preview not available

Abstract

The knowledge required to solve algebra manipulation problems and procedures designed to hasten knowledge acquisition were studied in a series of five experiments. It was hypothesized that, as occurs in other domains, algebra problem-solving skill requires a large number of schemas and that schema acquisition is retarded by conventional problem-solving search techniques. Experiment 1, using Year 9, Year 11, and university mathematics students, found that the more experienced students had a better cognitive representation of algebraic equations than less experienced students as measured by their ability to (a) recall equations, and (b) distinguish between perceptually similar equations on the basis of solution mode. Experiments 2 through 5 studied the use of worked examples as a means of facilitating the acquisition of knowledge needed for effective problem solving. It was found that not only did worked examples, as expected, require considerably less time to process than conventional problems, but that subsequent problems similar to the initial ones also were solved more rapidly. Furthermore, decreased solution time was accompanied by a decrease in the number of mathematical errors. Both of these findings were specific to problems identical in structure to the initial ones. It was concluded that for novice problem solvers, general algebra rules are reflected in only a limited number of schemas. Abstraction of general rules from schemas may occur only with considerable practice and exposure to a wider range of schemas.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[59]
    [59]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
60
    60
  • Thumbnail: Page 
61
    61
  • Thumbnail: Page 
62
    62
  • Thumbnail: Page 
63
    63
  • Thumbnail: Page 
64
    64
  • Thumbnail: Page 
65
    65
  • Thumbnail: Page 
66
    66
  • Thumbnail: Page 
67
    67
  • Thumbnail: Page 
68
    68
  • Thumbnail: Page 
69
    69
  • Thumbnail: Page 
70
    70
  • Thumbnail: Page 
71
    71
  • Thumbnail: Page 
72
    72
  • Thumbnail: Page 
73
    73
  • Thumbnail: Page 
74
    74
  • Thumbnail: Page 
75
    75
  • Thumbnail: Page 
76
    76
  • Thumbnail: Page 
77
    77
  • Thumbnail: Page 
78
    78
  • Thumbnail: Page 
79
    79
  • Thumbnail: Page 
80
    80
  • Thumbnail: Page 
81
    81
  • Thumbnail: Page 
82
    82
  • Thumbnail: Page 
83
    83
  • Thumbnail: Page 
84
    84
  • Thumbnail: Page 
85
    85
  • Thumbnail: Page 
86
    86
  • Thumbnail: Page 
87
    87
  • Thumbnail: Page 
88
    88
  • Thumbnail: Page 
89
    89