Date of Original Version
This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Abstract or Description
The main purposes of this study were to test the effects of teaching at-risk 4th graders to provide explanations for their mathematics work and examine whether those effects occur by compensating for limitations in cognitive processes. We randomly assigned 212 children to 3 conditions: a control group and 2 variants of a multicomponent fraction intervention. Both intervention conditions included 36 sessions, each lasting 35 min. All but 7 min of each session were identical. In the 7-min component, students were taught to provide high quality explanations when comparing fraction magnitudes or to solve fraction word problems. Children were pretested on cognitive variables and pre/posttested on fraction knowledge. On accuracy of magnitude comparisons and quality of explanations, children who received the explaining intervention outperformed those in the word-problem condition. On word problems, children who received the word-problem intervention outperformed those in the explaining condition. Moderator analyses indicated that the explaining intervention was more effective for students with weaker working memory, while the word-problem intervention was more effective for students with stronger reasoning ability.
Journal of Educational Psychology, 108, 4, 493-508.