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Pré-Publication, Document De Travail Année : 2024

Leveraging cognitive flexibility through flexible categorization training


Being cognitively flexible is crucial for academic success, especially in disciplines requiringproblem-solving and abstract reasoning, such as mathematics. Therefore, investigating whetherthe expression of cognitive flexibility can be trained in specific areas of knowledge is a majorchallenge for mathematics education. The current study examines the efficiency of a trainingprogram designed to improve flexibility in solving proportional word problems. 147 fifth gradestudents from high priority educational schools in the Paris region participated in thisexperiment. Ten classes, from five schools, were divided into experimental and control groups;both groups took part in eight learning sessions focused on solving proportionality problems.The experimental group received specific training on flexible categorization and problemcomparison, while the control group followed a more conventional teaching on proportionalityproblems. Students’ ability to categorize and solve the problems was evaluated pre-and postintervention.Results showed a significant effect of the intervention program on children’sability to categorize and solve proportional word problems. These findings highlight the roleof flexible categorization training in promoting arithmetic word problem solving. Theimplications for pedagogical design are discussed.

Dates et versions

hal-04616665 , version 1 (19-06-2024)



Eric Iacono, Evelyne Clément, Alain Guerrien, Hippolyte Gros. Leveraging cognitive flexibility through flexible categorization training. 2024. ⟨hal-04616665⟩
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