Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

A major hurdle to learning occurs when a student has to master a skill that requires appreciating hidden structure in a problem. For instance, in understanding that 5x – x = 4x, the student has to appreciate that 5x – x = 5*x – 1*x and that this can be factored to be (5 – 1)*x. Without this understanding, the student may learn superficial rules to deal with specific cases, but not be able to generalize to new cases. For instance, in this example a student may infer the superficial rule of decrementing the integer and faced with -5x – x produce -4x. To enable understanding of the hidden structure, typical instruction combines an effort to represent the hidden structure along with verbal explanation.

Included in

Psychology Commons



Published In

Proceedings of Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE).