A report on a unit designed to develop rapid and accurate calculations in high school mathematics

Thistle, Blanche Kelleher (1976) A report on a unit designed to develop rapid and accurate calculations in high school mathematics. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to develop a unit on rapid and accurate calculations for use in the high school mathematics program, to assess its suitability within the existing program, and to evaluate the benefits to be derived from it. In order to do this, the experimenter considered four questions: -- 1. Can students attain competence with mathematical principles used in short-cut methods of thinking in computation? -- 2. Will students become more agile in handling mental computation as a result of this unit? -- 3. What is the effect of the unit on student attitudes? -- 4. What are the attitudes of teachers towards the experimental materials? The study was essentially a non-comparative one, in that no control group was used. The study consisted of a seventeen-lesson unit taught to 218 Grade X mathematics students enrolled in six classes at Prince of Wales Collegiate High School. The materials for the unit were developed by the experimenter. -- To determine the students' achievement in the unit, experimenter made tests were administered. -- The Connelly Taxonomized Attitude Questionnaire was given as a pretest and as a posttest in order to determine the effect of the unit on student attitudes towards mathematics. Teacher records were also assessed to determine the students' attitudes to the materials in the unit. To determine how the teachers felt towards the materials, an experimenter-made questionnaire was given to each of the five teachers who taught the experimental materials. Analysis of the test results and subsequent oral questioning of the students showed that many of them failed to achieve mastery of the short-cuts presented. A dependent t-test for means was performed on the pretest-posttest attitude scores. A t-value of -1.5827 indicated that there was no significant change in the attitudes of students towards mathematics at the .10 level of significance during the teaching of the experimental materials. -- Responses to the questionnaire indicated that teachers were favourable towards the materials in the unit. They recommended the materials to other teachers, and they felt the materials had value for both the terminating and Honours students in mathematics as well as for the average-ability students. They further strongly recommended that this material be included at all grade levels.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11534
Item ID: 11534
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 48-50.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1976
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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