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BACKGROUND The sequencing of learning materials greatly influences the knowledge that learners construct. Recently, learning theorists have focused on the sequencing of instruction in relation to solving related problems. The general consensus suggests explicit instruction should be provided; however, when to provide instruction remains unclear. AIMS We(More)
Engaging learners in exploratory problem-solving activities prior to receiving instruction (i.e., explore-instruct approach) has been endorsed as an effective learning approach. However, it remains unclear whether this approach is feasible for elementary-school children in a classroom context. In two experiments, second-graders solved mathematical(More)
This study examined whether practice with arithmetic problems presented in a nontraditional problem format improves understanding of mathematical equivalence. Children (M age = 8;0; N = 90) were randomly assigned to practice addition in one of three conditions: (a) traditional, in which problems were presented in the traditional "operations on left side"(More)
The labels used to describe patterns and relations can influence children's relational reasoning. In this study, 62 preschoolers (Mage  = 4.4 years) solved and described eight pattern abstraction problems (i.e., recreated the relation in a model pattern using novel materials). Some children were exposed to concrete labels (e.g., blue-red-blue-red) and(More)
The goal of the current research was to better understand when and why feedback has positive effects on learning and to identify features of feedback that may improve its efficacy. In a randomized experiment, second-grade children received instruction on a correct problem-solving strategy and then solved a set of relevant problems. Children were assigned to(More)
Providing exploratory activities prior to instruction has been shown to facilitate learning. However, questions remain regarding the provision of guidance during the exploration phase. In this study, we replicated and extended a previous experiment by examining the effects of feedback during exploratory problem solving for children with varying levels of(More)