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Title:A Study of the Teaching and Learning of Common and Decimal Fractions in the Eighth Grade in Swaziland
Author(s):Charles, Josephine H.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Abstract:Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the teaching and learning of common and decimal fractions in the eighth grade in Swaziland. The study focused on the three aspects of the mathematics curriculum: (a) the intended curriculum as reflected in curriculum guides, course outlines, syllabi and textbooks; (b) the implemented curriculum at the classroom level where teachers translate the intended curriculum; and (c) the attained curriculum--what the students have learned as measured by the tests and questionnaires.
Procedures and Analysis. The data lend themselves to three major classifications: (a) curriculum data--context survey and textbook analysis; (b) classroom data include the Teacher, Topic and Attitude Questionnaires; and (c) student data include cognitive and attitude data.
The definition of Population A was modified for Swaziland as the grade level where 13 year-old students should be found according to the school system. A pretest was administered to 904 students in 25 classrooms in February 1980 and a posttest in September 1980. The teachers responded to the Classroom Processes Questionnaire for common and decimal fractions. Results of the Teacher Questionnaires and student achievement tests were analyzed using Pearson's Correlation and ANOVA.
Selected Findings and Conclusions. The classes were identified as remedial, typical, enriched or accelerated with an average class size of 27. An equal amount of time is spent on fractions and other topics in the mathematics curriculum. The majority of the teachers were young and inexperienced. Much of the teachers time is spent on presenting new content or reviewing old material and a relatively small proportion of time is spent on discipline or administration tasks. The textbook provided the "boundaries" for what is taught. Limited use is made of resources beyond the textbook for either content or methods of teaching. The majority of student time is spent listening to teacher presentation, doing seat work or taking tests. Little time is spent on group work. Instruction in fractions tends to be symbolic and formal with an emphasis on computational proficiency. Students' performance is higher on common fractions and on application level items. Both the teachers' attitudes and beliefs and students attitudes and beliefs had no effect on student achievement.
Issue Date:1985
Description:178 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600144
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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