Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://une.intersearch.com.au/unejspui/handle/1959.11/2497
Title: An Investigation into the use of a Cooperative Learning Strategy to Improve the Decoding of Word Problems and the Effect on Students' Achievement in and Attitudes Towards Mathematics
Contributor(s): Scarlett, Annette May (author); Callingham, Rosemary Anne (supervisor); Mays, Heather (supervisor); Afamasaga-Fuata'i, Karoline (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
Open Access: Yes
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/2497
Abstract: This research investigates the ways a program of targeted intervention using cooperative learning strategies to aid the decoding of word problems can influence students' achievement in tests of mathematical word problems and attitudes towards Mathematics in the cognitive, affective and social domains. A review of the relevant mathematics education literature provided a background to the research. Factors affecting students' outcomes fall into three domains: cognitive, affective and social. Cooperative learning has been suggested as one way of improving students' attitudes towards mathematics, and their subsequent achievement. An intact class of ten Year 7 students was selected to investigate the issues of interest in light of the literature. The classed consisted of mathematically challenged students identified as needing extra support. These students attended a co-educational comprehensive secondary school, located in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, in New South Wales. The data were collected through written, verbal and observational strategies, to provide multiple data collection methods for valid and reliable data in support of the study. Results indicated that achievement may not necessarily be fully assessed by tests but by how students perceive their ability and by the assessors', in this case the teacher/researcher's observation. The cooperative learning strategy had a positive affect on students' attitudes in the affective domain but made little difference to their performance in word problem tests. In this group of students, it was found that the facilitator was a necessary component of the group in the social domain, to keep the students' focus on the tasks and limit any inappropriate antagonistic behavior. These findings were supported by three case studies of students who responded differently to the cooperative learning approach. A number of issues teachers may need to address when designing a cooperative learning program for mathematically challenged students arise from the study. Areas of interest for future research related to cooperative learning as a strategy for solving word problems to influence students' achievement in and attitudes toward mathematics are suggested.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 2006 - Annette May Scarlett
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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