How to begin a new topic in mathematics: Does it matter to students' performance in mathematics?
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The authors use Canadian data from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study to examine six instructional methods that mathematics teachers use to introduce new topics in mathematics on performance of eighth-grade students in six mathematical areas (mathematics as a whole, algebra, data analysis, fraction, geometry, and measurement). Results of multilevel analysis with students nested within schools show that the instructional methods of having the teacher explain the rules and definitions and looking at the textbook while the teacher talks about it had little instructional effects on student performance in any mathematical area. In contrast, the instructional method in which teachers try to solve an example related to the new topic was effective in promoting student performance across all mathematical areas. © 2006 Sage Publications.