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Educational Psychology

Georgia State University

Mathematics

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A Cognitive Model Of Algebra Achievement Among Undergraduate College Students, Tammy Daun Tolar Feb 2008

A Cognitive Model Of Algebra Achievement Among Undergraduate College Students, Tammy Daun Tolar

Communication Sciences and Disorders Dissertations

Algebra has been called a gatekeeper because proficiency in algebra allows access to educational and economic opportunities. Many students struggle with algebra because it is cognitively demanding. There is little empirical evidence concerning which cognitive factors influence algebra achievement. The purpose of this study was to test a cognitive model of algebra achievement among undergraduate college students. Algebra achievement was defined as the ability to manipulate algebraic expressions which is a substantial part of many algebra curriculums. The model included cognitive factors that past research has shown relate to overall math achievement. Other goals were to compare a cognitive model ...


Teacher Video Clubs: A Method For Creating A Mathematical Discourse Community Through Collective Reflection, Nancy Jo Schafer Feb 2008

Teacher Video Clubs: A Method For Creating A Mathematical Discourse Community Through Collective Reflection, Nancy Jo Schafer

Communication Sciences and Disorders Dissertations

Although the reform movement in mathematics education has been very influential within colleges of education and among researchers, it has had less of an effect on mathematics education at the K-12 level (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1999). As a part of the reform movement, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (1991) recommends that teachers engage students in mathematical discourse. Given that situated learning theory suggests that reflection, particularly collective reflection, is necessary for professional development (Borko & Putnam, 1998; Lave & Wenger, 1991), this study examined the use of teacher video clubs as a space in which novice teachers can publicly and collectively reflect on ways to create productive mathematical discourse communities within their elementary classrooms. This study advances prior research by using teacher video clubs as a tool for enhancing mathematical discourse communities among novice teachers who facilitate video club sessions. This mixed-methods study examines (a) video club teacher-to-teacher discourse around teaching mathematics by using qualitative comparative analysis, (b) elementary students’ mathematical discourse in a case study of one video club member’s classroom by diagramming and coding classroom discourse, and (c) teachers’ (video-club group vs. traditional-coaching group) specialized content knowledge and reform beliefs measured by Teachers’ Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics Survey (Ball, Hill, Rowan, & Schilling, 2002) and Elementary Teacher’s Commitment to Mathematical Education Reform (Ross, McDougall, Hogaboam-Gray, & LeSage, 2003) respectively. The main findings are: (a) Teacher-to-teacher discourse focused of pedagogical issues across all video club session, but changes in later video club sessions to include questioning of goals and authority. Analysis of the discourse also reveal three possible affordances of video club participation: noticing, encouragement, and alternative ideas and strategies; (b) Classroom discourse became increasingly more horizontal and students increased initiation of discourse topics; and (c) As a group, video club ...