Judith Holbrook

Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Arts in Education (MA)

MA Concentration

Teaching Mathematics


mathematics, elementary, word problems, problem solving, schematic representations, Singapore Bar Model Method, Jerome Bruner


Helen Hawley-Davis, Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor


Based on Jerome Bruner' s Theory of Intellectual Development, this research examined the effects of Singapore's Bar Model Method on word problem solving performance of second grade students. Using a quasi-experimental quantitative design and a pretest - posttest with a control group and a treatment group, data measured both mathematics word problem solving performance changes and changes in opinions about mathematics word problem solving. A convenience sample of 52 (N) second grade students from a middle to upper middle class school district in Northern California participated in a researcher-developed word problem assessment and Likert-type Student Self-Assessment Survey. The researcher provided treatment of the Bar Model Method for six weeks while the control class's teacher provided traditional mathematics instruction. Results revealed the Bar Model Method to be more effective than traditional mathematics instruction in enhancing students' mathematical understanding and word problem solving skill. The At Grade Level treatment group achieved the largest statistically significant growth. Further, results indicate the Student Self-Assessment Survey did not produce enough data to draw any conclusions. Results also suggested the need for additional research to develop more effective instructional strategies for educators to use to help students advance in mathematics and the research should broaden its focus to compare the Bar Model Method to other pictorial representations.

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