A study of mathematics verbal problem solving through reading instruction among low achieving students in the eighth grade

Rowsell, Wallace J. (1978) A study of mathematics verbal problem solving through reading instruction among low achieving students in the eighth grade. 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 major purpose of this study was to determine if special instruction in specific reading skills could significantly improve low achieving students' ability to solve mathematical verbal problems. Three questions were explored: -- 1) Does instruction in specific reading skills cause improvement in mathematical verbal problem-solving among low achieving grade eight students? -- 2) Is there a relationship between sex and mathematical verbal problem-solving ability? -- 3) Is there an interaction effect on mathematical verbal problem-solving ability between the sex of the students and the instructional treatment used with those students? -- The subjects of the study were 36 grade eight low achieving students from the Integrated Central High School, Stephenville, Newfoundland. These 36 students were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups--an experimental group and a control group--18 students in each group. The experimental group consisted of 12 boys and 6 girls, while the control group consisted of 11 boys and 7 girls. The special instruction (experimental) treatment group received 30 lessons of instruction in the specific reading skills involved in mathematical verbal problem-solving, while the supervised (control) group received 30 lessons of solving verbal problems using methods they had learned in the past with no emphasis on these reading skills taught to the experimental group. Analysis of results indicated that students in both groups improved from pretest to posttest on the investigator's designed Verbal Problem Test and the Canadian Test of Basic Skills subtest on problem-solving. However, the experimental group's mean scores were significantly higher than mean scores for the control group on both posttests, which indicated a positive relationship between the specific reading skills treatment and ability to solve mathematical verbal problems. No significant difference was found to support the conclusion that the sex of a student influenced mathematical verbal problem-solving ability; nor did the investigator find any significant interaction between the instructional treatment and the sex of the student. -- The major conclusion of this study was that instruction in specific reading skills significantly improved students' ability to solve mathematical verbal problems.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7670
Item ID: 7670
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 42-45.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1978
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--West Coast--Stephenville
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary); Mathematical ability--Testing

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