Adapting the Concept Attainment Strategy to Teach Math

Khodadad Kaviani (Central Washington University)

Article ID: 5404



This paper argues for the adoption of concept attainment strategy when teaching math and shows the structure of this curriculum design that can substantially improve math instruction and comprehension in K-12 education.  Initial findings based on informal surveys of teacher candidates indicate many of them do not have a clear understanding of the concepts they are expected to teach. The concept attainment strategy is a proven effective method used in social studies for teaching powerful concepts like democracy and liberty.  One reason for many students feeling inadequate about their math skills stem from their lack of understanding of the key math concepts like area, perimeter, percent, and others.  Poor understanding of the math fundamentals in early grades if not rectified, develops into a dislike for an incomprehensible subject. The concept attainment strategy is an inductive approach that allows the students to participate in knowledge construction and master the fundamental math skills.  This paper shows how the structure of this social studies curriculum design can be adapted for teaching mathematics and invites practitioners and scholars to consider this approach to improve math instruction.


Assessment; Classifying; Graphic organizer; Constructivist; Teaching strategy

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