Title

Developing conceptual understanding and procedural skill in mathematics: An iterative process

Date of Original Version

6-2001

Type

Article

Abstract or Description

The authors propose that conceptual and procedural knowledge develop in an iterative fashion and that improved problem representation is 1 mechanism underlying the relations between them. Two experiments were conducted with 5th- and 6th-grade students learning about decimal fractions. In Experiment 1, children's initial conceptual knowledge predicted gains in procedural knowledge, and gains in procedural knowledge predicted improvements in conceptual knowledge. Correct problem representations mediated the relation between initial conceptual knowledge and improved procedural knowledge. In Experiment 2, amount of support for correct problem representation was experimentally manipulated, and the manipulations led to gains in procedural knowledge. Thus, conceptual and procedural knowledge develop iteratively, and improved problem representation is 1 mechanism in this process

DOI

10.1037/0022-0663.93.2.346

 

Published In

Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 2, 346-362.