Publication 8088

Chahine I. C. (2013) The impact of using multiple modalities on students’ acquisition of fractional knowledge: An international study in embodied mathematics across semiotic cultures. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior 32(3): 434–449. Fulltext at
Principled by the Embodied, Situated, and Distributed Cognition paradigm, the study investigated the impact of using a research-based curriculum that employs multiple modalities on the performance of grade 5 students on 3 subscales: concept of unit, fraction equivalence, and fraction comparison. The sample included five schools randomly selected from a population of 14 schools in Lebanon. Eighteen 5th grade classrooms were randomly assigned to experimental (using multimodal curriculum) and control (using a monomodal curriculum) groups. Three data sources were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data: tests, interviews, and classroom observations. Quantitative data were analyzed using two methods: reliability and MANOVA. Results of the quantitative data show that students taught using the multimodal curriculum outperformed their counterparts who were instructed using a monomodal curriculum on the three aforementioned subscales (at an alpha level =. 001). Additionally, fine-grained analysis using the semiotic bundle model revealed different semiotic systems across experimental and control groups. The study findings support the multimodal approach to teaching fractions as it facilitates students’ conceptual understanding.



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