Personalizing Word Problems
Many researchers have looked deeply at the impact of personalization of word problems on student achievement. Bailey notes that students “don’t care how many apples Bob gave to Suzy. They’re much more interested in things like music, video games, movies, trading cards, money, and friends” (Bailey, 2002, p. 61). Giordano (1990) maintains that, “student fascination with problems can be enhanced when names, locations, and events are changed to personal referents” (p. 25). Researchers agree that student motivation and interest increases engagement with the work (Fairbairn, 1993, Hart, 1996). It is important that these problems be rooted in students’ real lives (Ensign, 1997).
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