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2007

Science and Mathematics Education

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Full-Text Articles in Education

The Effect Of Essential Guiding Questions On Adolescent Learning, Zachary William Abbe Aug 2007

The Effect Of Essential Guiding Questions On Adolescent Learning, Zachary William Abbe

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

What is the purpose of essential or guiding questions in a classroom setting? Do they motivate student learning or develop critical thinking skills? Do they simply review previous lessons or nurture insight into new areas and stimulate students in their academic pursuit? Some institutions have gone so far as to label themselves as Essential Schools, places where curriculum has been centered on student inquiry and exploration in selected subject areas. This thesis project explores the idea of essential questions in aiding student understanding of complex math content. The project was conducted during the fourth quarter of an academic year in ...


Rationale For And Examples Of Internet-Based, Software, And Hardware Technologies That Can Be Integrated Into The Science Classroom, Tara M. Harradine Aug 2007

Rationale For And Examples Of Internet-Based, Software, And Hardware Technologies That Can Be Integrated Into The Science Classroom, Tara M. Harradine

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

The global market and workplace today demand knowledge and skills associated with technology. More often than not the responsibility to provide students with the exposure to technology is left up to the classroom teachers, whether or not the teachers themselves are experienced with it. The natural intersection of science and technology is a recognized element of science education in 21st century classrooms. This thesis project presents some of the more accessible forms of technology to understand and offer assistance to both pre-service and in-service teachers as well as suggested methods for integrating technology in a science classroom. While technology ...


Examining How Teaching Strategies Alter The Misconceptions Of Middle School Science Students, Kirsten Meyers Aug 2007

Examining How Teaching Strategies Alter The Misconceptions Of Middle School Science Students, Kirsten Meyers

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

People observe the world using their five senses; they gain understanding and draw conclusions. Sometimes these conclusions align with scientific findings but many times personal opinions are formed that are rooted in misunderstandings or misconceptions. Misconceptions in science are common in students and affect how they learn. These false understandings hinder the acquisition of new knowledge as they try to fit scientific facts into their framework of knowledge. This thesis project examines student misconceptions in science. It studies instructional lessons designed to identify student misconceptions and then alter them through student-centered instructional strategies. The study was conducted in an eighth ...


Building Conceptual Understanding And Algebraic Reasoning In Algebra, Kathryne Elisabeth Morehouse Aug 2007

Building Conceptual Understanding And Algebraic Reasoning In Algebra, Kathryne Elisabeth Morehouse

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Algebra is a mechanism through which students build necessary and applicable skills for our technologically driven society and workforce, consequently success in algebra is considered the key to increased academic achievement in mathematics in high school and upper level mathematics. This thesis project is a comprehensive study which examines algebra from a number of perspectives - cognitive science, historical development, type of knowledge, teacher beliefs, and the impact of instructional materials - in order to gain greater understanding in the concept of learning and teaching algebra. The literature review examines the merits of symbolic versus rhetoric algebraic notation, educator’s approach to ...


Incorporating Vocabulary Into Math To Support Student Comprehension, Kasey Gharet Aug 2007

Incorporating Vocabulary Into Math To Support Student Comprehension, Kasey Gharet

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

The purpose of this research was to find out if incorporating vocabulary into math improved student comprehension of mathematical concepts. The researcher used several instructional strategies to incorporate vocabulary directly into the math curriculum in an urban school. Data was collected from a focus group as well as the whole class. Observation checklists and math manipulative bags were used to collect data from the focus group. A vocabulary pre and post-test, weekly math quizzes, and a math pre and post-test were used to collect data from the whole group. The results of this research support that the incorporation of math ...


A Rotating Panel Survey To Assess Quality Of Hunter College Education, Jennifer Sousa Brennan, William (Bill) H. Williams Aug 2007

A Rotating Panel Survey To Assess Quality Of Hunter College Education, Jennifer Sousa Brennan, William (Bill) H. Williams

Publications and Research

A rotating sample design is proposed to most accurately measure the perceived quality of a Hunter College education. A representative sample of Hunter College students will belong to one of six rotating panels. Students will be contacted during four rotation periods and report their assessment of the two most recent months. It is advantageous to use a rotating panel design as opposed to a fixed panel design in order to guard against the negative effects of a deteriorating response rate. Stratified sampling will help to ensure representation across major departments and academic year of study. Methods for sampling procedures, stratification ...


An Investigation Of Successful And Unsuccessful Students’ Problem Solving In Stoichiometry, Ozcan Gulacar Aug 2007

An Investigation Of Successful And Unsuccessful Students’ Problem Solving In Stoichiometry, Ozcan Gulacar

Dissertations

In this study, I investigated how successful and unsuccessful students solve stoichiometry problems. I focus on three research questions: (1) To what extent do the difficulties in solving stoichiometry problems stem from poor understanding of pieces (domain-specific knowledge) versus students' inability to link those pieces together (conceptual knowledge)? (2) What are the differences between successful and unsuccessful students in knowledge, ability, and practice? (3) Is there a connection between students' (a) cognitive development levels, (b) formal (proportional) reasoning abilities, (c) working memory capacities, (d) conceptual understanding of particle nature of matter, (e) understanding of the mole concept, and their problem-solving ...


A New Framework For Grading, Kris H. Green, W. Allen Emerson Aug 2007

A New Framework For Grading, Kris H. Green, W. Allen Emerson

Mathematical and Computing Sciences Faculty/Staff Publications

Grading is one of the least liked, least understood and least considered aspects of teaching. After years of work, we have developed a grading system that is quite different from traditional and reformed approaches to grading and which meaningfully incorporates and integrates the collection of evidence, the evaluation of evidence, and the reporting of judgments about that evidence. This system satisfies the requirements of good grading system and answers many of the problems faced by more traditional methods by substantially changing the way in which grade information is aggregated, resulting in a final course grade that aligns qualitative evaluation with ...


Impact Of New Science And Engineering Graduates On Intrastate Labor Markets, Philip A. Trostel Jul 2007

Impact Of New Science And Engineering Graduates On Intrastate Labor Markets, Philip A. Trostel

University of Maine Office of Research Administration: Grant Reports

A major policy issue confronting states is the level of state support to higher education. A crucial question in this policy debate is whether a state's production of college graduates has a proportionate effect on the level of college attainment in the state. Although it is widely accepted that rising college attainment leads to rising prosperity, there is widespread concern that many new college graduates will take their state-supported degrees to labor markets in other states. The belief that state support to higher education subsidizes the workforce development of other states undermines states' incentives to promote wider access to ...


Discovering The Derivative Can Be "Invigorating:" Mark's Journey To Understanding Instantaneous Velocity, Charity Ann Gardner Hyer Jul 2007

Discovering The Derivative Can Be "Invigorating:" Mark's Journey To Understanding Instantaneous Velocity, Charity Ann Gardner Hyer

Theses and Dissertations

This is a case study using qualitative methods to analyze how a first semester calculus student named Mark makes sense of the derivative and the role of the classroom practice in his understanding. Mark is a bright yet fairly average student who successfully makes sense of the derivative and retains his knowledge and understanding. The study takes place within a collaborative, student-centered, task-based classroom where the students are given opportunity to explore mathematical ideas such as rate of change and accumulation. Mark's sense making of the derivative is analyzed in light of his use of physics, Mark as a ...


The Main Challenges That A Teacher-In-Transition Faces When Teaching A High School Geometry Class, Greg Brough Henry Jul 2007

The Main Challenges That A Teacher-In-Transition Faces When Teaching A High School Geometry Class, Greg Brough Henry

Theses and Dissertations

During a semester-long action research study, the author attempted to implement a standards-based approach to teaching mathematics in a high school geometry class. Having previously taught according to a more traditional manner, there were many challenges involved as he made this transition. Some of the challenges were related to Geometry and others were related to the standards-based approach in general. The main challenges that the author encountered are identified and discussed. A plan of action for possible solutions to these challenges is then described.


Probing For Reasons: Presentations, Questions, Phases, Kellyn Nicole Farlow Jul 2007

Probing For Reasons: Presentations, Questions, Phases, Kellyn Nicole Farlow

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis reports on a research study based on data from experimental teaching. Students were invited, through real-world problem tasks that raised central conceptual issues, to invent major ideas of calculus. This research focuses on work and thinking of the students, as they sought to build key ideas, representations and compelling lines of reasoning. This focus on the students' and their agency as learners has brought about a new development of the psychological and logical perspectives, as well as, highlighted students' choices in academic and social roles. Such choices facilitated continued learning among these students.


Applying Toulmin's Argumentation Framework To Explanations In A Reform Oriented Mathematics Class, Jennifer Alder Brinkerhoff Jul 2007

Applying Toulmin's Argumentation Framework To Explanations In A Reform Oriented Mathematics Class, Jennifer Alder Brinkerhoff

Theses and Dissertations

This study looks at conceptual explanations given in a reform-oriented mathematics class for preservice secondary mathematics teachers and extends Toulmin's argumentation framework to account for some of the complexities of the explanations given by these students. This study explains the complexities that arose in applying Toulmin's framework to explanations and extends the framework by accounting for the features of conceptual explanations. The complexities of these explanations are that they are made up of multiple arguments that build on each other to reach a final conclusion and that they are also dependant upon the social aspects of the class ...


Improving Students’ Algebraic Thinking: The Case Of Talia, Kien H. Lim Jul 2007

Improving Students’ Algebraic Thinking: The Case Of Talia, Kien H. Lim

Kien H Lim

This paper presents the case of an 11th grader, Talia, who demonstrated improvement in her algebraic thinking after five one-hour sessions of solving problems involving inequalities and equations. She improved from association-based to coordination-based predictions, from impulsive to analytic anticipations, and from inequality-as-a-signal-for-a-procedure to inequality-as-a-comparison-of-functions conceptions. In the one-on-one teaching intervention, she progressed from the sub-context of manipulating symbols, to working with specific numbers, to reasoning with “general” numbers, and eventually to reasoning with symbols. Three features were identified to account for her improvement: (a) attention to meaning, (b) opportunity to repeat similar reasoning, and (c) opportunity to explore.


The Importance Of Teaching Students How To Read To Comprehend Mathematical Language, Tricia Buchanan Jul 2007

The Importance Of Teaching Students How To Read To Comprehend Mathematical Language, Tricia Buchanan

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 8th and 9th grade Algebra I students, I investigated if there are any benefits for the students in my class to learn how to read, translate, use, and understand the mathematical language found daily in their math lessons. I discovered that daily use and practice of the mathematical language in both written and verbal form, by not only me but by my students as well, improved their understanding of the textbook instructions, increased their vocabulary and also increased their understanding of their math lessons. I also found that my students remembered ...


Pre-Reading Mathematics Empowers Students, Stacey Aldag Jul 2007

Pre-Reading Mathematics Empowers Students, Stacey Aldag

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my 8th grade mathematics classroom, I investigated the improvement of mathematical communication via assigning pre-reading material and requiring students to take notes prior to class discussions. I discovered that students became more active participants during classroom discussions and were able to produce work which illustrated their mathematical understanding. Teacher observations and improved quiz scores provide quantitative evidence, and student survey responses validate student communication. As a result of this research, I plan to assign pre-reading tasks and require students to take notes prior to class discussions with the goal to change classroom presentation from ...


Do Students Progress If They Self-Assess? A Study In Small-Group Work, Cindy Steinkruger Jul 2007

Do Students Progress If They Self-Assess? A Study In Small-Group Work, Cindy Steinkruger

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics, I investigated the effects of self-assessment on student group work. Data was collected to see how self-assessment affected small-group work, usage of precise mathematical vocabulary, and student attitudes toward mathematics. Self-assessment allowed the students to periodically evaluate their own learning and their involvement in math class. I discovered that the vast majority of students enjoy working in small-groups, and they feel they are good group members. Evidence in regard to use of precise mathematical vocabulary showed an increased awareness in the importance of its usage. Student attitudes toward ...


Improving Student Engagement And Verbal Behavior Through Cooperative Learning, Daniel Schaben Jul 2007

Improving Student Engagement And Verbal Behavior Through Cooperative Learning, Daniel Schaben

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 10th grade Algebra II students, I investigated three related areas. First, I looked at how heterogeneous cooperative groups, where students in the group are responsible to present material, increase the number of students on task and the time on task when compared to individual practice. I noticed that their time on task might have been about the same, but they were communicating with each other mathematically. The second area I examined was the effect heterogeneous cooperative groups had on the teacher’s and the students’ verbal and nonverbal problem solving skills ...


Improving Student Engagement And Verbal Behavior Through Cooperative Learning, Daniel Schaben Jul 2007

Improving Student Engagement And Verbal Behavior Through Cooperative Learning, Daniel Schaben

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 10th grade Algebra II students, I investigated three related areas. First, I looked at how heterogeneous cooperative groups, where students in the group are responsible to present material, increase the number of students on task and the time on task when compared to individual practice. I noticed that their time on task might have been about the same, but they were communicating with each other mathematically. The second area I examined was the effect heterogeneous cooperative groups had on the teacher’s and the students’ verbal and nonverbal problem solving skills ...


Improving The Effectiveness Of Independent Practice With Corrective Feedback, Greg Vanderbeek Jul 2007

Improving The Effectiveness Of Independent Practice With Corrective Feedback, Greg Vanderbeek

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my 8th grade Algebra class, I investigated the effects of teacher-to-student written corrective feedback on student performance and attitude toward mathematics. The corrective feedback was given on solutions for selected independent practice problems assigned as homework. Each problem being assessed was given a score based on a 3- point rubric and additional comments were written. I discovered that providing teacher-to-student written corrective feedback for independent practice problems was beneficial for both students and teachers. The feedback positively affected the attitudes of students and teacher toward independent practice work resulting in an improved quality of ...


Increasing Conceptual Learning Through Student Participation, Janet Timoney Jul 2007

Increasing Conceptual Learning Through Student Participation, Janet Timoney

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my 9th grade Algebra I classroom, I investigated the idea of presenting problems at the beginning of class. Data was collected to determine if presenting problems at the beginning of class would have an effect on students’ conceptual learning, verbal communication and confidence. It was also my intention that this project would have a positive impact on my students both academically and mentally with increasing their confidence with mathematical problems. I discovered that presenting problems at the beginning of class did impact my students’ overall abilities and achievement. It seemed to improve their volunteerism ...


Increasing Teacher Involvement With Other Teachers Through Reflective Interaction, Tina Thompson Jul 2007

Increasing Teacher Involvement With Other Teachers Through Reflective Interaction, Tina Thompson

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of a district’s mathematics teachers, the researcher investigated how teachers interact with other teachers in their building and throughout the district. The researcher wanted to know how deeply teachers thought about teaching mathematics, and if they use other teachers in the district as a resource to help with unknown math problems. The researcher discovered that some teachers are willing to interact with others, but would like to have time supplied to them during the school year’s staff development meetings. The teachers involved were able to observe each other teaching and take valuable strategies ...


Calculators In The Classroom: Help Or Hindrance?, Christina L. Sheets Jul 2007

Calculators In The Classroom: Help Or Hindrance?, Christina L. Sheets

Action Research Projects

In a world where technology is ever present and ever changing, is too much technology at too young of an age detrimental to a child’s educational success? The purpose of this paper is to share the results of a four-month study that focused on the use of calculators in grade eight. This study was conducted in an eighth grade class, in a small kindergarten through twelfth grade school. This paper will share the findings of a study of a classroom in which calculator use was limited and mental computation was emphasized. The main focus of this study was whether ...


Improving Students’ Story Problem Solving Abilities, Josh Severin Jul 2007

Improving Students’ Story Problem Solving Abilities, Josh Severin

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics students, I investigated if learning different problem solving strategies helped students successfully solve problems. I also investigated if students’ knowledge of the topics involved in story problems had an impact on students’ success rates. I discovered that students were more successful after learning different problem solving strategies and when given problems with which they have experience. I also discovered that students put forth a greater effort when they approach the story problem like a game, instead of just being another math problem that they have to solve. An ...


The Effects Improving Student Discourse Has On Learning Mathematics, Lindsey Thompson Jul 2007

The Effects Improving Student Discourse Has On Learning Mathematics, Lindsey Thompson

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my 8th grade mathematics classroom, I investigated how improving student discourse affects learning mathematics. I conducted this study because I wanted to give students more opportunities to develop and share their ideas with their peers as well as with me. My idea was to create a learning environment that encouraged students to voice their opinions. In order to do so, I needed to reassure and model with my students that they were in a classroom where it was safe to take risks, and they should feel comfortable sharing their ideas. By facilitating activities for ...


Effects Of Self-Assessment On Math Homework, Diane Swartzlander Jul 2007

Effects Of Self-Assessment On Math Homework, Diane Swartzlander

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my eighth grade differentiated Algebra students, I investigated the effects of students using self-assessment on their homework. Students in my class were unmotivated and failed test objectives consistently. I wanted students to see that they controlled their learning and could be motivated to succeed. Formative assessment tells students how they need to improve. Learning needs to happen before they can be assessed. Self-assessment is one tool that helps students know if they are learning. A rubric scoring guide, daily documentation sheet and feedback on homework and test correlations were used to help students monitor ...


Why Are We Writing? This Is Math Class!, Shana Streeks Jul 2007

Why Are We Writing? This Is Math Class!, Shana Streeks

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics, I investigated writing in the content area. I have realized how important it is for students to be able to communicate mathematical thoughts to help gain a deeper understanding of the content. As a result of this research, I plan to enforce the use of writing thoughts and ideas regarding math problems. Writers develop skills and generate new thoughts and ideas every time they sit down to write. Writing evolves and grows with ongoing practice, and that means thinking skills mature along with it. Writing is a classroom ...


“Let’S Review.” A Look At The Effects Of Re-Teaching Basic Mathematic Skills, Thomas J. Harrington Jul 2007

“Let’S Review.” A Look At The Effects Of Re-Teaching Basic Mathematic Skills, Thomas J. Harrington

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics, I investigated the effect of reviewing basic fraction and decimal skills on student achievement and student readiness for freshman Algebra. I also investigated the effect on the quality of student work, with regards to legibility by having students grade each other’s work anonymously. I discovered that students need basic skill review with fractions and decimals, and by the end of the research their scores improved. However, their handwriting had not. At the end of the research, a majority of the students felt the review was important, and ...


The Importance Of Vocabulary Instruction In Everyday Mathematics, Chad Larson Jul 2007

The Importance Of Vocabulary Instruction In Everyday Mathematics, Chad Larson

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my 6th grade math students I try to answer the question of how mathematical vocabulary plays an integral role in the understanding and learning of middle level mathematics. It is my belief that mathematics is a language, and to be fluent in that language one must be able to use and understand vocabulary. With the use of vocabulary quizzes and mathematically-centered vocabulary activities, student scores and understanding of math concepts can be increased. I discovered that many of the students had never been exposed to consistent mathematical terminology in their elementary education, which led ...


Understanding The Mathematical Language, Carmen Melliger Jul 2007

Understanding The Mathematical Language, Carmen Melliger

Action Research Projects

In this action research study of my calculus classroom consisting of only 12th grade students, I investigated activities that would affect a student’s understanding of mathematical language. The goal in examining these activities in a systematic way was to see if a student’s deeper understanding of math terms and symbols resulted in a better understanding of the mathematical concepts being taught. I discovered that some students will rise to the challenge of understanding mathematics more deeply, and some will not. In the process of expecting more from students, the frustration level of both the students and the teacher ...