Exploring strategy use for multiplication problem solving in college students

Sarah Michelle Powell, Fordham University


Recent research has focused on bolstering American students’ math performance across the lifespan, which has revealed that early math learning predicts later math achievement. Specifically, students develop either efficient cognitive strategies or inefficient ones from a young age, which reflects their internal conceptual understanding of numbers. These strategies are carried with students as they advance to higher order math classes. Consequently, children who have well-developed efficient strategies in childhood are more likely to experience higher achievement in math. This research aims to understand whether the ability to execute efficient strategies as college students remains predictive of students’ current and future academic math success. In other words, do efficient strategies in arithmetic still contribute uniquely to Grade Point Average (GPA), even when students have moved on to higher level math? The ability to use strategies seems to reflect a higher level of math conceptual understanding that is carried with students throughout their educational career. The results suggest that the disparity in ability to use strategies continues to contribute uniquely to current and future GPA. As such, future research should focus on how to bolster children’s abilities to learn and execute efficient strategies in early years by encouraging students to develop conceptual math skills from an early age.

Subject Area

Mathematics education|Educational psychology|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Powell, Sarah Michelle, "Exploring strategy use for multiplication problem solving in college students" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10112505.