Conceptually based instruction on place value and two-digit addition and subtraction without regrouping was provided in four first-grade classrooms, and more conventional textbook-based instruction was provided in two first-grade classrooms. An observer compiled extensive notes of 20 lessons in each kind of classroom. Students who received conceptually based instruction performed significantly better on items measuring understanding of place value and two-digit addition and subtraction with regrouping and used strategies more often that exploited the tens and ones structure of the number system. Content and pedagogical differences between the instruction lessons are linked to the learning differences and are used to explain between-group differences in levels of performance and understanding. Observations are offered on the complex interactions between instruction, understanding, and performance.
James Hiebert, Professor of Educational Development, College of Education, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716
Diana Wearne, Associate Professor of Educational Development. College of Education. University of Delaware. Newark. DE 19716