The mathematical needs of high school students as perceived by mathematics instructors in post-secondary institutions in Newfoundland

Mercer, Randell (1975) The mathematical needs of high school students as perceived by mathematics instructors in post-secondary institutions in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purposes of this study were: (1) to establish the rank ordering of a set of general objectives for secondary school mathematics by trade school mathematics instructors and university mathematics instructors; (2) to determine the relative importance of each objective for the mathematics program of Newfoundland High Schools, as perceived by each group; and (3) to analyze and-compare these perceptions in an effort to-determine any trend in the way these objectives are perceived by each group relative to the other. -- The instrument used for collecting the data was derived from a survey and an analysis of literature relating to the needs and abilities of high school mathematics students. The objectives used in the instrument, which were formulated in consultation with a group of mathematics educators, represented nine different content areas and two behavioral levels. The final form of the instrument consisted of all the possible distinct combinations, in pairs, of 18 objectives (153 pairs). -- Twenty instructors from the faculty of the department of Mathematics at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a similar number from the mathematics staffs of the various trade schools throughout the province of Newfoundland were selected randomly. These individuals were to complete the instrument by selecting from each pair the objective which was considered more important to the secondary school mathematics program. -- The results of the data collected were analyzed using several procedures. It was found that there were areas of agreement as well as disagreement in the rankings of the objectives. On the basis of the findings of the study the following conclusions were drawn: -- 1. Trade school mathematics instructors indicated that the objectives dealing with applications and measurement were of the highest relative importance, while the university mathematics instructors indicated that the objectives dealing with algebra were of the highest relative importance. Both groups indicated that objectives dealing with probability and statistics were of the least relative importance. -- 2. There was no significant difference attached to the importance of the cognitive level of the objectives by either group; that is, both the trade school and university mathematics instructors indicated that there was no significant difference in relative importance between the objectives of high cognitive behavior and those of low cognitive behavior. -- 3. There was a significant interaction effect between group membership and the content area of the objectives. The trade schools mathematics instructors indicated that, the objectives for all content areas differed in relative importance, with-the exception of those for logic and relations, geometry and graphs, and algebra and number systems. The university mathematics instructors indicated significant differences in relative importance of the objectives for all content areas except of those objectives for measurement, geometry, graphs and applications. Furthermore, the university mathematics instructors, when compared with the trade school, mathematics instructors attached more relative-importance to the objectives dealing with geometry, graphs, algebra, relations and functions, probability and statistics, and logic. However, in the case of objectives dealing with applications and measurement the trade school mathematics instructors indicated a higher degree of relative importance than did the university mathematics instructors. -- 4. There was a significant, inconisistency in the rankings of university mathematics instructors. -- The study concluded with several implications of the results and suggestions for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1509
Item ID: 1509
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 88-91; QEII has photocopy
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1975
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)

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