The development of a systematic approach to the teaching of mathematics based on Bloom's model for mastery learning

Wheeler, Calvin George (1976) The development of a systematic approach to the teaching of mathematics based on Bloom's model for mastery learning. 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

This paper attempts to present a description of a curriculum development project in an eighth grade Mathematics class, developed and implemented to fulfill the requirements for the degree of Master of Education in curriculum studies at Memorial University. -- In the introduction, the writer attempts to justify the need for change in many areas of education. He discusses some basic conditions that may contribute to the retardation of student achievement such as individual differences, the feeling of inadequacy experienced through failure, the types of instruction used, and the practice of continuous promotion. It is suggested that, although many advances have been made in education during the last decade, many changes are still necessary in the field of instruction. The writer hypothesizes that the introduction of mastery learning as an approach for teaching would increase the achievement of our students as well as permit a greater emphasis on individualized instruction. -- The concept of mastery learning refers to an approach of instruction that provides for complete mastery of the subject matter. It is characterized by (1) an analysis of the subject matter (2) an emphasis on feedback/correction procedures (3) a development of specific corrective measures, and (4) an evaluation of student progress. The model of mastery learning was conceptualized by J.B. Carroll in 1963 and transformed into an effective strategy for instruction by B.S. Bloom in 1968. It is based on the premise that all students can master the prescribed tasks if the time supplied is sufficient. The paper includes the variables that determine the rate of learning. They are: aptitudes, ability to understand instruction, quality of instruction, perseverance, and time. -- In Chapter 4, the report describes the implementation of this strategy in a Grade 8 Mathematics class in a Junior High School. The implementation followed the basic steps for development as proposed by Bloom and Carroll. These were: (1) Prerequisite planning (2) Adoption strategies (3) Organization of materials (4) Instructional procedures, and (5) Summative evaluation. Besides a student profile, the chapter includes a detailed account of the procedures followed to correct the diagnosed weaknesses, the progress made in student achievement, and the changes observed in student attitudes. -- The final chapter summarizes the basic strengths and weaknesses of the mastery learning approach. The writer concludes that the major strengths of the approach are the advantages gained through superior planning, the feedback and correction procedures which transform group based instruction into individualized instruction, the extent it caters to individual differences, and the apparent degree of success it acclaims. The major objections to the approach are related to the administrative problems that it generates and the difficulty experienced in teaching for objectives beyond the knowledge level. -- It is hoped that this paper will assist other teachers who are so inspired to try this or similar projects in their classrooms.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4375
Item ID: 4375
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 64-66.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1976
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary)

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