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Title:The Effects of Cognitive Apprenticeship on the Problem-Solving Skills of Community College Technical Mathematics Students
Author(s):Fischbach, Rita McDonough
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johnson, S.,
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Community College
Education, Mathematics
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Education, Vocational
Abstract:An alternative method of instruction, called cognitive apprenticeship, that utilizes the results of research in how students learn to solve problems, was attempted in community college technical mathematics classes to improve student problem solving. At Illinois Central College, two teachers each taught a traditional and an experimental class. In the experimental class, 40% of the time was spent with students working in groups to solve problems. In the lab sessions the teachers acted as coaches, guiding the students while they worked to solve application-based problems.
The quantitative data indicate that students in the experimental group did slightly better on the problem-solving exam and final exam, although not significantly. The scores of students on the standardized exam were slightly lower than the control group, but the difference was not significant. This indicates that the cognitive apprenticeship model of instruction supports student learning as well as the traditional model. From the analysis of the hourly tests and student interviews, it appears that the cognitive apprenticeship model may work better on new knowledge rather than reinforced knowledge.
From the research and results of the qualitative data a cognitive apprenticeship matrix model was developed. The three components which emerged from analysis of the qualitative data were: (a) member of the culture, (b) metacognition/understanding, and (c) application/problem solving. Three themes which support these components were: (a) student discourse, (b) improved self esteem, and (c) teacher mentoring. The qualitative data were analyzed using this matrix. The data indicate that the cognitive apprenticeship model provides students the opportunity to become part of the culture, improve their understanding, work on application problems, and overall enjoy mathematics class.
Two recommendations were proposed. First, cognitive apprenticeship should be continued with four suggestions incorporated. These suggestions were: requiring student attendance, increased training of teachers in the technique, increased teacher training in applications, and additional time for student group work. The second recommendation was that cognitive apprenticeship should be incorporated into math-based science classes and technical classes.
An appendix includes the problem exam, observation and student interview forms, coaching guide, and holistic grading templates.
Issue Date:1993
Description:224 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9314865
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1993

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