A successful mathematics intervention

How can mathematics learning in primary school be facilitated? Recent studies have shown that our everyday knowledge strongly influences our ability to solve problems, sometimes leading us into making errors. This is why Katarina Gvozdic and Emmanuel Sander, in collaboration with four research teams in France, have now developed an intervention to promote the learning of maths in school. Named ACE-ArithmEcole, the programme is designed to help schoolchildren surpass their intuitions and informal knowledge, and rely instead on the use of arithmetic principles. And the results are surprising. More than half (50.5%) of the students who took part in the intervention were able to solve difficult problems, as compared to only 29.8% for pupils who followed the standard course of study. The study can be found in the special issue "Word problems in mathematics education: a survey" in the journal ZDM Mathematics Education.

Gvozdic, K., Sander, E. (2020). Learning to be an opportunistic word problem solver: going beyond informal solving strategies. ZDM Mathematics Education (in press) doi:10.1007/s11858-019-01114-z