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Title:The effects of problem-solving software on the problem-solving ability of secondary school students
Author(s):Funkhouser, Charles Peter
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dennis, J. Richard
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Education, Secondary
Education, Technology of
Abstract:The effects of problem solving software on the problem solving ability and attitude toward mathematics of secondary school students was investigated. The 40 experimental and 31 control subjects were students enrolled in geometry or second year algebra courses. The experimental group was given supplemental instruction with computer-related activities involving problem solving software. The control group was involved in regular coursework supplemented by miscellaneous mathematics lab activities.
The Nonequivalent Control Group Design as described by Campbell and Stanley (1966) was used. The problem solving pretest and posttest were derived from a problem solving test developed by Mayer, Dyck, and Vilberg (1986). The attitude assessment was a variation of the mathematics component of the National Assessment of Educational Progress developed and administered since the 1960s by Educational Testing Services.
A One-way Analysis of Variance and an Analysis of Covariance were used to test the two hypotheses posited for the study related to problem solving ability. No interactions between group and treatment were significant at the.05 level. Significance was approached, however, for one of the problem solving subskills, Spatial Ability (p =.13).
A narrative was presented to discuss the findings for the two hypotheses related to attitude toward mathematics. Positive gains in attitude toward mathematics, especially attitudes related to mathematics and self and mathematics as a discipline, were made by the experimental group. The hypotheses related to attitude toward mathematics were supported by these findings.
An analysis of the data indicated a serendipitous finding. A significantly greater mathematics performance score (p =.004) was found for the students involved in computer-related activities than for students not engaged in such activities. It was recommended that future research investigate the relationship between problem solving software and overall mathematics performance.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Funkhouser, Charles Peter
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026186
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026186

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