Substituting one mystery for another: The role of self-explanations in solving algebra word-problems

Yair Neuman, Baruch Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Explanations students provide themselves (self-explanations) in the course of learning or problem-solving have been shown to be positively associated with performance. However, the role self-explanation plays in problem solving has not been fully elaborated. This study aims to analyze the role of self-explanation in solving algebra word problems. We argue that self-explanation may function as verbal mediation that supports the transformation between different external representations of the problem. Our analysis of the problem solving protocols aims to illustrate this point through a multiple case studies design. Specifically we illustrate the way a particular kind of self-explanation (categorical explanation) mediates students' transformation from the sentential representation of the problem to the tabular one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalLearning and Instruction
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000

Keywords

  • Algebra word problems
  • Artifacts
  • External representations
  • Self-explanation
  • Verbal mediation

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