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Title:Development of Three Dimensional Spatial Visualization and Abstract Mathematical Thought: School Implications for Student Preparation for a High Technology Society (cross-Cultural, Japan)
Author(s):Iben, Miriam Fett
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:This cross national investigation examined differences in student development of three dimensional spatial visualization and mathematics abstract thought among thirteen and fourteen year old students in the U.S. and Japan. Four predictive independent variables were used in the investigation: student gender, ethnicity, age, and school mathematics experiences.
The sample consisted of 549 U.S. and 206 Japanese students in the seventh and eighth grades. The U.S. students were assigned to three math tracks in each grade; the Japan students were not tracked. The sample consisted of about equal numbers of males and females in each grade.
The students were administered the Differential Aptitude Test-Space Relations, the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test, the Fennema and Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales, and a student questionnaire.
The Japanese mean scores for space relations were higher for both grade levels than those of their U.S. cohorts (at p < .01). The U.S. mean scores for algebra aptitude were higher for both grade levels than those of the Japanese (at p < .01). The multiple regression analyses for the U.S. sample indicated that of the nineteen independent variables selected, student math track assignment had the largest beta weight, 0.63 (at p < .01), for algebra aptitude and the second largest beta weight, 0.33 (at p < .01), for space relations.
Four possible conclusions emerged which are suggested as hypotheses for further confirmation: (1) What takes place in the mathematics classroom seems to have a large influence on student development of space relations and abstract mathematical thought. (2) The U.S. math classroom experiences do not appear to develop student space relations as fully as those of their Japanese cohorts. (3) Between the end of the seventh and eighth grades, the U.S. and Japan students experienced a high growth rate in algebra aptitude, 12% and 15%, respectively; and the U.S. students experienced a 17% growth rate in space relations. (4) The U.S. students will need to participate in high school mathematics experiences which will further develop these skills to continue along their projected growth lines.
Given the ultimate confirmation of these hypotheses, the school policy implications are profound.
Issue Date:1985
Description:134 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600214
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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