This study explored the extent to which domain-specific knowledge predicted proportional word problem-solving performance. We tested 411 seventh-grade students on conceptual and procedural fraction knowledge, conceptual and procedural proportion knowledge, and proportional word problem solving. Multiple regression analyses indicated that all four domain-specific knowledge variables (i.e., conceptual and procedural fraction knowledge, conceptual and procedural proportion knowledge) significantly predicted proportional word problem-solving performance. Conceptual fraction and procedural proportion knowledge contributed the most unique variance (10.0 and 6.7%, respectively, of the total variance) to proportional word problem solving. Procedural fraction and conceptual proportion knowledge each also contributed significant unique variance to proportional word problem solving explaining 5.6 and 2.8%, respectively. The results support the notion that both conceptual fraction and proportion knowledge and procedural fraction and proportion knowledge play a major role in understanding individual differences in proportional word problem-solving performance to inform interventions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a Mathematics and Science Research grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education [R305K060075-06] to the University of Minnesota. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute of Education Sciences or the U.S. Department of Education.
- domain-specific knowledge
- middle-school students
- proportional word problem solving