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Students’ Overuse of Proportionality on Missing-Value Problems: How Numbers May Change Solutions

Wim Dooren; Dirk De Bock; Marleen Evers; Lieven Verschaffel 

March 2009, Volume 40, Issue 2, Page 187

Previous research has shown that when confronted with missing-value word problems, primary school students strongly tend to use proportional solution approaches, even if these approaches are inappropriate. The authors investigated whether (besides the missing-value formulation of word problems) the numbers appearing in word problems are part of the superficial cues that lead students to (over)use proportionality.

Linking Research and Practice
Grades 3-5
Curriculum Developer
Conceptual Development
Grades 6-8
Fractions / Decimals / Percents / Rational Numbers
Problem Solving / Problem Posing
Reasoning and Proof
Ratios / Proportions