The effects of concrete materials on attitude and attainment of objectives of students taught a unit on measurement in mathematics

Jesso, Jeremiah Joseph (1981) The effects of concrete materials on attitude and attainment of objectives of students taught a unit on measurement in mathematics. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purposes of this study were to develop and evaluate activities to supplement a unit on 'measurement' in mathematics from the textbook School Mathematics I. The effects of the unit and the supplementary activities on student achievement and attitude toward mathematics were investigated. To do this, four questions were considered: -- 1. Can students attain competence with the mathematical concepts of 'measurement' in mathematics taught by an activity oriented approach? -- 2. What are the effects of the activity approach to instruction on student attitude toward mathematics? -- 3. What are the attitudes of teachers toward the activity oriented approach? -- 4. What are the problems encountered in teaching 'measurement' by the activity oriented approach? -- The study involved teaching an eleven-topic unit on 'measurement to 30 students in two grade seven classes in a high school in western Newfoundland. The unit was taken from the textbook School Mathematics I and each topic was supplemented by activities developed by the investigator or selected from various mathematics education sources. The activities involved the use of concrete materials which the students manipulated. -- To answer question (1), two achievement tests constructed by the investigator were administered to the students. Question (2) was answered by administering to the students the Aiken (1979) 'Scale of Attitudes toward Mathematics' as a pretest and as a posttest. Question (3) was answered by administering to the teachers involved in the study, a ten-point questionnaire developed by the investigator. To answer question (4), the teachers were asked to keep a record of the problems encountered with the unit and the activities. -- Analysis of the achievement test results indicated that the student achieved the 80% criterion on only one objective. The 80% criterion was also reached on two comprehension items and four computation items. Less than 80% was achieved on all of the application items. A dependent t-test for means was performed on the pretest-posttest attitude scores. A t-value of 3.51 indicated a significant positive change in student attitude toward mathematics at the .01 significance level. -- Responses to the teacher questionnaire indicated that the teachers enjoyed teaching the material in the unit. They felt that the supplementary activities were particularly useful in getting the students involved in doing mathematics. They noted that one problem encountered was the students' lack of experience in working with concrete materials. -- The results of the study were inconclusive since no control group was used. Nor was there control for such extraneous variables as student background and differences in teacher and student abilities. It was recommended that further studies be conducted in which these variables are controlled.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7909
Item ID: 7909
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 48-50.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1981
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Activity programs in education; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary)

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