Title

Rules and reasons: Decimal instruction for academically low achieving students

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Publication Title

Learning Disabilities Research & Practice

Department

Education

Abstract

A study that contrasted two instructional approaches for teaching decimals to remedial students and students with learning disabilities in junior high school is presented. Students in the experimental group were taught decimals in a way that emphasized conceptual understanding. Visual representations of decimal concepts were particularly important instructional materials for this group. Students in the comparison group learned decimals using a highly procedural approach to the topic. Materials for this group emphasized a mastery of basic operations (e.g., addition, division) as they are applied to decimal numbers. Although the results indicate significant effects on conceptual tasks for students in the experimental group, the overall findings suggest that academically low-achieving students require considerable time to learn rational number concepts like decimals. It appears that much more time than many special educators anticipate is required to teach decimals and other rational number concepts adequately.

Volume

14

Issue

1

pp.

15-24

ISSN

0938-8982