Education Endowment Foundation:Voices from the Classroom: Using worked examples to support pupils’ mathematical problem-solving

Voices from the Classroom: Using worked examples to support pupils’ mathematical problem-solving

Author
Kirstin Mullholland
Kirstin Mullholland
Content Specialist for Mathematics

Our maths content specialist, Kirstin Mulholland, introduces our new Voices from the Classroom’ video. 

Blog •1 minutes •

In this Voices from the Classroom’ video, Tracey Adams – maths lead and deputy headteacher at St Matthew’s C of E Primary School – explains how she uses worked examples to develop metacognitive thinking by supporting pupils to compare and discuss a range of maths problem-solving approaches.

Drawing from recommendation 3 of the EEF’s​‘Improving Mathematics at Key Stages 2 and 3’ guidance report, this video highlights the role of worked examples in providing opportunities for pupils to analyse the use of different problem-solving strategies.

Through presenting the problem and solution together, worked examples reduce cognitive load by removing the need for pupils to carry out the procedures required to reach the solution. Tracey highlights how she uses questions to encourage pupils’ reasoning and to unpick the approaches used. She also offers some very practical advice for those teachers and practitioners who are looking to use worked examples in their own classrooms.

We hope this latest video supports colleagues to consider their own use of worked examples, and the potential role these can play in helping pupils to reflect upon the choices they make during problem-solving and – crucially – the rationale underpinning these. This means focusing in on what we do during problem-solving, and why we do this.

Using worked examples to support pupils' mathematical problem-solving