The Effect of a Thinking Strategy Approach through Visual Representation on Achievement and Conceptual Understanding in Solving Mathematical Word Problems

  •  Nasarudin Abdullah    
  •  Effandi Zakaria    
  •  Lilia Halim    


This quasi-experimental study was designed to determine the effect of a thinking strategy approach through visual representation on the achievement and conceptual understanding in solving mathematical word problems in primary school. The experimental group (n = 96) was exposed to the treatment, while the control group (n = 97) received a conventional approach in teaching and learning mathematical problem solving. To control the variable difference, a pretest was given to both groups before teaching. After 10 weeks of instruction, both groups were given a posttests. Two types of instruments were used to collect the data: the achievement and the conceptual understanding tests. To determine differences between groups, pre and posttests were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) followed by univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA). MANOVA results showed a significant difference in overall achievement and understanding of the concept of mathematical word problem solving for the treatment groups as compared to the control group. The ANOVA test of the findings also found that there were significant differences between treatment and control groups. Results showed that students who were exposed to the approach of thinking strategies through visualization representation in mathematical word problem solving outperformed students in conventional classes in achievement and conceptual understanding in mathematical word problem solving. Effect size is high, and therefore the treatment effect is meaningful in practice.

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