Graphic Organizer in Action: Solving Secondary Mathematics Word Problems

Khoo Jia Sian, Masitah Shahrill, Norashikin Yusof, Georgina Chua Ling Ling, Roslinawati Roslan


Mathematics word problems are one of the most challenging topics to learn and teach in secondary schools. This is especially the case in countries where English is not the first language for the majority of the people, such as in Brunei Darussalam. Researchers proclaimed that limited language proficiency and limited Mathematics strategies are the possible causes to this problem. However, whatever the reason is behind difficulties students face in solving Mathematical word problems, it is perhaps the teaching and learning of the Mathematics that need to be modified. For example, the use of four-square-and-a-diamond graphic organizer that infuses model drawing skill; and Polya’s problem solving principles, to solve Mathematical word problems may be some of the strategies that can help in improving students’ word problem solving skills. This study, through quantitative analysis found that the use of graphic organizer improved students’ performance in terms of Mathematical knowledge, Mathematical strategy and Mathematical explanation in solving word problems. Further qualitative analysis revealed that the use of graphic organizer boosted students’ confidence level and positive attitudes towards solving word problems.

Keywords: Word Problems, Graphic Organizer, Algebra, Action Research, Secondary School Mathematics



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Journal on Mathematics Education
Doctoral Program on Mathematics Education
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