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Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 239–256 | Cite as

A decade of research on word problem solving in Leuven: Theoretical, methodological, and practical outcomes

  • Lieven Verschaffel
  • Erik De Corte
Article

Abstract

This article provides an overview of a research program on elementary addition and subtraction word problem solving that has been conducted during the past 10 years at the Center for Instructional Psychology and Technology of the University of Leuven, Belgium. After a brief description of two closely related American research projects, the major findings of the Leuven project are reviewed and discussed. These findings, which derive from the application of a diversity of complementary methods and techniques, concern different aspects of elementary arithmetic word-problem solving, such as the effect of semantic as well as non-semantic task characteristics on problem difficulty, pupils' errors and correct solution strategies, the influence of instructional variables on pupils' solutions, and so forth. Although these outcomes are largely in accordance with the results obtained in the American studies, they also complement them and challenge some of their findings and theoretical viewpoints. The final section of the article summarizes the major theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the project and gives some perspectives for future research.

Key words

problem solving arithmetic addition and subtraction word problems mathematics education 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lieven Verschaffel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Erik De Corte
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Associate, National Fund for Scientific ResearchBelgium
  2. 2.Center for Instructional Psychology and TechnologyUniversity of LeuvenLeuven

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