Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Center for Science and Math Education


Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Chair

Sherry Herron

Committee Chair Department

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Member 2

Taralynn Hartsell

Committee Member 2 Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Committee Member 3

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Jiu Ding

Committee Member 4 Department


Committee Member 5

Jacob Blickenstaff

Committee Member 5 Department

Center for Science and Math Education


This study is an evidence-based mathematical intervention in word problem solving for elementary students. One of the purposes of teaching mathematics is to help students apply mathematics to real life situations. As we know, teaching word problem solving is a very suitable format for this purpose. Schema-based instruction (SBI) is one of the most supported methods for teaching word problem solving. In the current literature, there are four steps in SBI: identifying the problem type, applying corresponding method, determining an operation, and solving the problem. The problem with the current SBI is that there are no agreed-upon definitions for word problem types. As a result, researchers categorize word problems into different categories. Further, it is a complicated cognitive process for elementary students to learn and identify the problem types.

Therefore, in this study, the researchers simplified SBI and referred it to SSBI. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of this new method with second grade students. Participants, using SSBI method, did not need to identify categories. Results demonstrated that all four participants’ word problem solving skills were significantly improved. The results also evidenced that students not only mastered SSBI, but also maintained the skills.