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Title:A case study of the complexities of learning to teach problem-solving: The effects of a writing process strategy model on seventh-grade students' mathematics performance
Author(s):Albert, Lillie Richardson
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Travers, Kenneth J.
Department / Program:Education, Mathematics
Education, Tests and Measurements
Education, Teacher Training
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Education, Mathematics
Education, Tests and Measurements
Education, Teacher Training
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Education, Tests and Measurements
Education, Teacher Training
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:This study's purpose was to assess the effectiveness of a writing process strategy model on seventh grade students' problem solving performance and their beliefs about mathematics. This study described through case study methods how the Writing Process Strategy-Model (WPS-Model) became part of the classroom teacher's way of thinking about problem solving instruction.
This study used a mixed methodology design that includes three comparison groups. This design used both quantitative (quasi-experimental) and qualitative (case study) approaches. The 60 seventh grade students that participated in this study were taught by the same teacher in a middle school located in the Midwest.
The classroom teacher had 14 years of practical teaching experience at the middle school and high school levels. All activities, including pre and post testing, took place over a period of 14 weeks. The teacher's role was that of a facilitator of students' mathematical thinking and to model some problem solving strategies for students. Students wrote explanations or statements to illustrate their understanding of the problem; the conditions and variables of the problem; the strategy used to solve the problem; and supporting information about the solution to the problem.
Data-collection efforts centered around four different measures: (a) a pretest, (b) a posttest, (c) interviews of seven students from the treatment group and the classroom teacher, and (d) observations. The pre and post measures included a Student Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ) and a Problem Solving Test (PST).
After the completion of data collection, descriptive statistics were computed for each quantitative measure. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) and an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to determine statistical significance of the differences among the means of the three groups. Qualitative data analysis was used to develop a descriptive and narrative case study of the experimental class.
The findings indicated that the students in the experimental group showed significantly greater improvement in their understanding of problems and in their problem solving performance than did the students in the control groups. The students in the experimental group had a more improved attitude about writing to learn mathematics than did the students in the control groups.
The teacher changed the way she taught mathematics and personalized the WPS-Model. The teacher's beliefs, preferences and views about how students learn mathematics played a consequential role in shaping classroom discourse and student learning. The teacher found a path that lead to critical thinking about her beliefs and how they affect students. The teacher adopted the position that her role as the teacher called for making problem solving the focus of classroom instruction and presenting problems in such a way that it would be integrated into the whole mathematics curriculum.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Albert, Lillie Richardson
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9624276
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9624276

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