Initial Instruction in a Mathematics Classroom: Learning in a Contextual Setting

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Title: Initial Instruction in a Mathematics Classroom: Learning in a Contextual Setting
Author: Holland, Lindsay Anne
Advisors: Dr. Karen Allen Keene, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to investigate how the order of mathematical instruction with respect to using a context affects students’ performance in the classroom and their attitudes towards learning. The study examined two high school Algebra I classes and was implemented over three days. On Day 1 of the study, the experimental group received the implementation of learning in a contextual setting while the control group learned in a noncontextual setting. In the noncontextual setting, students learned about one and two step equations where a lecture style lesson was implemented. On Day 2 of the study, each of the two groups received the type of instruction the other group received on Day 1. The experimental group received the traditional approach method where the control group learned the mathematics in a contextual setting. The study determined that there is a difference in students’ academic performance when they learn in a contextual setting first and then learn the math in a traditional based approach as opposed to learning in a traditional setting first and then learn in a contextual setting. Students’ attitudes toward learning in a contextual setting without regards to order were more positive. Finally, the order of instruction with respect to using a context affects lower ranked students’ levels of performance in the classroom more than middle or higher ranked students, but not significantly more.
Date: 2008-12-05
Degree: MS
Discipline: Mathematics Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/176


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