The Use of Mathematics Dialogues to Support Student Learning In High School Prealgebra Classes
A mixed methods case study design was used to provide a situated comparison of learning outcomes in two distinct instructional settings. Each of two teachers taught two prealgebra classes, one with and one without dialogue activities. Observations and classroom transcripts were used to describe the instructional settings and implementation, and to characterize classroom discourse in each setting. Quantitative methods were used to measure mathematics learning outcomes in terms of achievement and problem solving. In addition, a mathematics attitude survey and student interviews were used to address the potential influence of student attitudes and obtain feedback from students.
Results included the development of mathematics dialogue activities as a model for introducing student discourse into diverse classroom settings. Classes using the dialogue activities were found to have more opportunities for student-led questions and explanations and displayed more indicators of student learning and attitudes than control group classes. Student attitudes also emerged as an important factor influencing implementation. Quantitative results indicated that students who participated in mathematics dialogue activities had greater gains in mathematics achievement in both settings, greater gains in problem solving skill in one setting, and positive effects on student attitudes concerning self-concept in both settings. The quantitative findings were not conclusive due to small sample sizes, but indicate that mathematics dialogue activities are a promising intervention strategy for low achieving students.
Advisor:Stephanie Wasta; Libby J. Knott; Merle J. Farrier; Marian J. McKenna; David R. Erickson
School:The University of Montana
School Location:USA - Montana
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:12/26/2007