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Singapore students’ performance in two “real-life” mathematics word problems
Learning and cognitive processes
Mathematics word problems
Problem solving
Issue Date: 
Ramakrishnan Menon. (1996, November). Learning and cognitive processes. Paper presented at the ERA-AARE Joint Conference, Singapore.
About 900 upper Primary students from 20 Singapore schools were given two written word problems. One word problem asked for the number of
taxis needed for 9 adult passengers and the other was a nonsensical one, in that the information given (the number of passengers in a bus) had nothing to do with the question asked (the age of the bus driver). Data collection (which includes answer scripts of the students and interview data on about 60 students) will be completed by mid-1996 and the resulting analysis should be able to indicate whether students actually take into consideration all the information given and relate
them to sensible solutions or whether they are prone to indiscriminate and mechanical application of procedures. The results will be reported at this conference and should prove interesting and instructive, given that problem solving is the focus of the Singapore Primary school mathematics curriculum.
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