The effects of sex, level of ability, and differential amounts of practice on immediate and delayed achievement in mathematics

O'Rielly, Kevin Patrick. (1978) The effects of sex, level of ability, and differential amounts of practice on immediate and delayed achievement in mathematics. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of drill and practice to mathematics achievement in skill and concept acquisition in grade five. To do this the experimenter examined the following major questions. Do any of the variables of sex, level of ability, and amount of practice result in significantly different achievement on an immediate posttest of concepts and skills or on a delayed posttest? In addition, are there any significant interactions among any of these variables on the immediate or delayed posttests? -- To investigate these questions a unit on addition of fractions for grade five was developed, implemented, and evaluated. The study was conducted using 140 grade five students in five classes from both urban and rural Newfoundland communities. Students in each class were randomly divided into three groups. Each group was randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: five practice exercises, ten practices exercises, or fifteen practice exercises. Classes were held once a day for a total of fifteen class sessions. -- To determine the students' achievement on the unit, two tests were administered. The first, the immediate posttest, was given at the end of the fifteen class sessions following a review session. The second, the delayed posttest, was given one month later to test retention of the material covered in the class sessions. Both of these tests were constructed by the experimenter and were designed to test whether the behavioral objectives of the unit had been achieved. In an attempt to eliminate inadequacies, both the addition of fractions unit and the tests were piloted in a grade six classroom prior to conducting the study. -- The data were collected and analyzed using a three factor analysis of variance procedure. Treatment differences were significant at the .05 level of significance on the immediate posttest, but not on the delayed posttest. To determine where the significant differences lay specifically, a Scheffé test was performed on the data. The results of the test indicated that students receiving fifteen practice exercises achieved significantly higher than those receiving five or ten. Achievement of students receiving five and ten practice exercises was not significantly different. -- There were significant sex differences in achievement on both the immediate and delayed posttests with females scoring significantly higher than males. In addition, high ability students scored significantly higher than lower ability students on both tests. -- There was no significant "sex by treatment" interaction on either the immediate or delayed posttests. In addition, there was no significant "ability by treatment" interaction on either of the tests. There was, however, a significant "sex by ability" interaction on both the immediate and delayed posttests. High ability males and females obtained approximately equivalent results, whereas lower ability females scored considerably higher than lower ability males on both tests. As indicated by the "sex by ability" interaction, the obtained sex difference in achievement occurred mainly in the lower ability groups. -- Following the Scheffé procedure finding, students receiving the five and ten practice exercises were collapsed into one group and the data were reanalyzed. The results of this further analysis were similar to those of the initial analysis. Notable exceptions were that the treatment differences were significant at the .05 level on both the immediate and delayed posttests. Students receiving fifteen practice exercises achieved significantly higher than students in the combined five and ten practice groups on both tests. Also, the "ability by treatment" interaction on the immediate posttest was significant. High ability students achieved approximately the same results whether they received five, ten, or fifteen practice exercises. Lower ability students receiving five and ten exercises achieved approximately the same results, however, those receiving fifteen practice exercises achieved considerably higher results. -- On the basis of these findings it was concluded that for grade five students practice does have an effect on mathematics achievement. However, the ability of the student must be considered in assigning that practice. The researcher recommended that further research be conducted at other grade levels and in other areas of the curriculum.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7913
Item ID: 7913
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 78-82.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1978
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mathematical ability; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary)

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