Word problem-solving instruction in inclusive third-grade mathematics classrooms

Cynthia Griffin, Asha Jitendra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The authors examined the effectiveness of strategy instruction taught by general educators in mixedability classrooms. Specifically, the authors compared the mathematical word problem-solving performance and computational skills of students who received schema-based instruction (SBI) with students who received general strategy instruction (GSI). Participants were 60 3rd-grade student participants randomly assigned to treatment conditions. Teachers pretested and posttested participants with mathematical problem-solving and computation tests, repeatedly measuring their progress on word problem solving across the 18-week intervention. Both SBI and GSI conditions improved word problem-solving and computation skills. Further, results show a significant difference between groups on the word problem-solving progress measure at Time 1, favoring the SBI group. However, this differential effect did not persist over time. The authors discuss implications for future research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-202
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Elementary mathematics instruction
  • Mathematics word problem solving
  • Mixed-ability classrooms
  • Strategy instruction


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