A study of the time spent on teaching geometry in the elementary school and its relationship to teacher attitudes toward geometry

Roberts, Barry Albert (1979) A study of the time spent on teaching geometry in the elementary school and its relationship to teacher attitudes toward geometry. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study was motivated by numerous reports of grade nine students experiencing difficulty with geometry, coupled with the increased emphasis being placed on geometry in the mathematics program for elementary grade children in the past decade. -- The main purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between elementary school teachers' attitudes toward geometry and the amount of time they spent teaching geometry. Since geometry is well represented in the mathematics program presently in use in the elementary schools, a minimum of six or seven weeks would be required to complete the recommended program. An important aspect of this study was to determine if elementary school teachers were spending the required amount of time to adequately cover the topics recommended for each grade level. Other concerns of the study were overall elementary teacher attitudes toward geometry, teacher experience with and preparation to teach certain geometric topics, method of instruction in geometry, teacher familiarity with manipulative aids for instruction in geometry, and any differences in attitude or time that might exist between urban and rural areas of the province. -- The sample consisted of fifty-one rural and fifty-three urban teachers in the province of Newfoundland. Each teacher was administered a questionnaire. Upon completion of the questionnaire, a personal interview was conducted with each teacher. The teachers' responses to the questionnaires were used to analyze all aspects of the study other than time. A second instrument was administered to compile information relating to the number of weeks the teachers sampled spent teaching geometry. -- A low positive correlation was found between, teacher attitude toward geometry and the amount of time spent teaching geometry. The overall attitude of the teachers toward geometry was found to be neutral at worst. Probably the most significant finding of the study was that the teachers reported a mean time spent on geometry of just slightly over two weeks. No significant differences were found between teachers of rural and urban areas. -- The data collected on teacher preparation to teach, and experience with, certain topics in geometry indicated a strong relationship between the two. Teachers who were unfamiliar with certain topics in geometry expressed a reluctance to include them in their mathematics program. The areas teachers most often indicated unfamiliarity with were motion geometry, symbolic logic, three-dimensional geometry, and co-ordinate geometry. -- While many teachers expressed their belief that an elementary school geometry program should be activity oriented, they were, in roost cases, unfamiliar with the teaching aids available to assist in the instruction of geometry. -- Several suggestions were made for further research. These suggestions, along with a more thorough discussion of the findings of this study, are contained in the final chapter of the study.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11348
Item ID: 11348
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 86-91.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1979
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Geometry--Study and teaching (Elementary)

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