Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 267–281 | Cite as

Multiple representation instruction first versus traditional algorithmic instruction first: Impact in middle school mathematics classrooms

  • Raymond Flores
  • Esther Koontz
  • Fethi A. Inan
  • Mara Alagic


This study examined the impact of the order of two teaching approaches on students’ abilities and on-task behaviors while learning how to solve percentage problems. Two treatment groups were compared. MR first received multiple representation instruction followed by traditional algorithmic instruction and TA first received these teaching approaches in reverse order. Participants included 43 seventh grade students from an urban middle school in Midwestern USA. Results indicated gains in knowledge from both treatment groups; however, the differences between groups were nonsignificant. Comparisons of effect size however, indicated larger growths in abilities to solve among students who received multiple representation instruction first. In addition, statistical differences between on-task behaviors were found in favor of the traditional algorithmic approach.


Multiple representations Algorithms Rational numbers Middle school 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Flores
    • 1
  • Esther Koontz
    • 2
  • Fethi A. Inan
    • 1
  • Mara Alagic
    • 3
  1. 1.College of EducationTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet SchoolWichitaUSA
  3. 3.College of EducationWichita State UniversityWichitaUSA

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