WWC review of this study

Improving the Mathematical Problem-Solving Skills of Students with Learning Disabilities: Self-Regulated Strategy Development.

Case, Lisa Pericola; And Others (1992). Journal of Special Education, v26 n1 p1-19. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ448562

  • Single Case Design
    , grades

Reviewed: October 2017

Meets WWC standards with reservations

To view more detailed information about the study findings from this review, please see Self-Regulated Strategy Development Intervention Report (841 KB)

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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Students were in self-contained fifth- or sixth-grade classrooms in an urban elementary school in the northeastern United States.

Study sample

This study included four children (Ben, Abernathy, Willow, and Paladin) with learning disabilities. All four students were 11 years old and in self-contained fifth- or sixth-grade classrooms in an urban elementary school in the northeastern United States. Students had IQ scores between 77 and 82 on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) and achievement at least 2 years below grade level on one or more academic areas. Paladin’s contrast was not included in the current review, as his baseline phase was not concurrent with the baseline phases of the other three students.


There were two successive SRSD intervention conditions: addition instruction and subtraction instruction, both of which used SRSD procedures that focused on self-assessment and self-recording. The addition instruction was given first, and the subtraction instruction was given after addition outcomes were measured. Due to possible carryover or residual treatment effects from the addition intervention, the subtraction outcomes measured after the subtraction instruction cannot meet WWC pilot single-case design standards because the measures of effectiveness cannot be attributed solely to the subtraction intervention. Thus, the current review focuses on the addition SRSD instruction and addition outcomes. SRSD was used to improve students’ mathematical problem-solving skills. Instruction included asking students to list words that indicated when addition (or subtraction) should be used; the instructor gave students cards with vocabulary words and examples to help students learn key phrases and cue words within word problems. The instructor had a conference with each student to discuss their performance and the goals of the instruction and then introduced the strategy (for example, reading the problem out loud, looking for and circling important words, drawing a picture, writing a sentence, and writing the answer). The instructor modeled the strategy using a think-aloud process, worked through problems with the student, and then asked the student to independently use the strategy to solve problems. The addition intervention was implemented during 35-minute sessions, two-to-three times a week. Ben, Abernathy, and Willow received 165, 130, and 180 minutes of addition instruction, respectively.


The study used a multiple baseline design experiment across participants. The baseline condition consisted of normal classroom practice.


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