The effects of supplementary activities in an academic geometry course on student achievement and attitudes

Murcell, Joseph Cater (1982) The effects of supplementary activities in an academic geometry course on student achievement and attitudes. 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 purpose of this study was to develop a set of activities to supplement a unit of work in the ninth grade academic geometry program, and to evaluate the benefits to be derived from it. In order to do this the following four questions were considered: -- (1) Does the use of a unit involving supplementary activities result in students attaining competence with geometric concepts? -- (2) Does the use of a unit involving supplementary activities have any effect on student attitudes toward geometry? -- (3) How effective is each of the supplementary activities in helping students achieve each objective? -- (4) What are some of the problems encountered using the activity approach to geometry? -- A unit of work, supplemented with 14 activities, was taught to two intact ninth grade academic classes of 28 students each. The activities were developed by the investigator or were selected from other sources. -- To determine student achievement on the unit, two tests constructed by the investigator were administered. Both tests were designed to test whether the behavioural objectives for the unit had been achieved. The objectives for the unit were written at three cognitive levels: computation, comprehension, and application. -- An analysis of the test results showed that many of the students failed to achieve mastery of the geometric concepts at all three cognitive levels. However, the findings did show that the students were more successful at the lower cognitive levels than they were at the application level. -- A modified form of Aiken's Scale of Attitudes Toward Mathematics was given as a pretest and post-test to determine whether the unit had any effect on student attitudes toward geometry. A dependent t-test for means was performed on the pretest-post-test attitude scores. The results showed that students made a significant positive attitudinal change toward geometry during the seven week period in which unit one was taught. -- The problems encountered with the activity approach to geometry were noted. They were: unfamiliarity with the approach and unfamiliarity working with concrete materials by both teacher and students, too much time had to be spent with the slower learners, and student tendency to jump to a conclusion on limited experience. -- On the basis of the findings of this study, several recommendations were made. The most obvious was that the activity approach can be used as an alternative approach to the expository approach. Other recommendations were that in future studies, the long term effects of supplementary activities be assessed, and that the subjects be randomly selected from a wide range of ability levels.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4399
Item ID: 4399
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 58-61. -- QEII has photocopy.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1982
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Geometry--Study and teaching

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