Using the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) Approach in think! Mathematics

29 March 2019


The Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract(CPA) approach developed by American psychologist, Jerome Bruner, is one of the 5 key learning theories incorporated in think! Mathematics.

Using the CPA approach, students work with concrete manipulatives before they move on to pictorial representations to acquire and refine their understanding of abstract concepts.

The CPA approach can be implemented in the teaching of various topics. For example, students may use square tiles to learn the concept of area. As students discover that they can make different shapes using the same number of square tiles, they begin to understand that even though the shapes look different, they cover the same amount of surface area and hence have the same area. 

How has the CPA approach helped in the teaching of new concepts in your classroom? Share your insights and experiences with us!