## Abstract

Engaging students in a challenging (cognitively demanding) task and launching a mathematics lesson with a task before instruction are two characteristics of a reform-oriented approach to mathematics instruction often considered together. The authors systematically contrasted teaching with challenging tasks using a task-first lesson structure with that of a discussion-first lesson structure to three composite classes of first- and second-grade students (n = 73). Subsequent assessments of mathematical performance revealed that the discussion-first lesson structure was somewhat more efficacious in improving fluency performance but both structures similarly improved problem-solving performance. The findings suggest there is more than one way of incorporating challenging tasks into mathematics lessons to produce sizeable learning gains.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 98-109 |

Number of pages | 12 |

Journal | Journal of Educational Research |

Volume | 112 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 2019 |

## Keywords

- Challenging tasks
- cognitive-load theory
- discovery-based learning
- explicit instruction
- lesson structure
- mathematics instruction
- problem-based learning