Amber Moran Squire, a lecturer in the Teacher Education Program and an alumna of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School, received the 2013 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award from the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Squire’s thesis is entitled “The Effects of Comprehension Intervention on Mathematics Problem Solving for Students with Mathematics Disability.” Her thesis advisor was Professor Michael Gerber.
The purpose of her study was to examine the effectiveness of a set of mathematics problem solving intervention on mathematics word problem solving accuracy in elementary school children with Mathematics Disabilities (MD). Three instructional conditions were developed that directed students’ attention to different propositions within word problems through writing out and paraphrasing. Intervention was directed towards 72 third grade students operationally identified as having MD. Students were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 intervention conditions: paraphrase question propositions (restate), paraphrase relevant propositions (relevant), and paraphrase all propositions (complete), or an untreated control. Results from the study provide support for the effectiveness of interventions that direct students to restate/paraphrase propositions of mathematics word problems relative to the control condition. Results indicated that restating and paraphrasing all propositions of a word problem (complete) had the greatest impact on mathematical problem solving accuracy.
Amber Moran Squire received her B.A. in Biopsychology, M.A., and Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis on Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies from UC Santa Barbara. She entered the program after teaching middle school children with mild to moderate disabilities in Louisiana. As a doctoral student, her research interests included students with difficulties in Mathematics problem solving, classroom based assessment to inform instruction, and teacher education for students with disabilities.
The Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) is a international professional organization consisting of teachers, psychologists, clinicians, administrators, higher education professionals, parents, and others. The DLD promotes the education and general welfare of persons with learning disabilities; provides a forum for discussion of issues facing the field of learning disabilities; encourages interaction among the many disciplinary groups whose research and service efforts affect persons with learning disabilities; fosters research regarding the varied disabilities subsumed in the term “learning disabilities” and promote dissemination of research findings; advocates exemplary professional training practices to insure the highest quality of services in the field of learning disabilities; and, promotes exemplary diagnostic and teaching practices in a context of tolerance for new and divergent ideas.