The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a schema-based instructional strategy that emphasizes prealgebraic conceptualization of multiplicative relations on solving arithmetic word problems with elementary students with learning disabilities or problems (LP). Participants were 4 fifth graders with LP in a Midwestern urban public elementary school. An adapted multiple-probe-across-participants design was employed to assess the functional relation between the schema-based instructional strategy instruction and students' performance while solving word problems. The results of the study demonstrated the effectiveness of the schema-based instructional strategy with elementary students with LP. Introducing symbolic representation and algebraic thinking in earlier grades may facilitate a smoother transition from elementary to higher level mathematics learning and improve middle and high school mathematics performance.
Yan Ping Xin, Department of Educational Studies, Purdue University, 100 North University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098; email@example.com