The effects of Contextualized Technical Courses, where mathematics is embedded, situated, and generative, on the mathematics achievement of high school students
Keith Gregson Aldred, George Fox University, United States
George Fox University . Awarded
This study shed light on a relevant, current educational issue particularly in the state of Oregon—raising mathematics achievement. In addition, it sought to find evidence in support of, or in opposition to, theories concerning how students learn mathematics in the most effective way. Raising mathematics achievement levels is now being discussed among teachers, in their professional development efforts, and at the state level.
The researcher believes that long lasting and effective achievement gains will come when traditional direct instruction, based on sequential mastery of skills, with students replicating abstract problems, is supplemented with mathematics that is taught using a different approach. This approach is based on different ideas as to how students learn mathematics, generate new constructs, and transfer learning to new situations. Contextualized Technical Courses are those in which this approach is used.
This study compared the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills scores of 10th grade students who had not taken any Contextualized Technical Courses to those students who had taken them. It examined the two groups’ mean OAKS scores and proportion of students scoring 236 or higher on the test—indicating proficiency in meeting state standards. Changes in achievement scores from 8th grade to 10th grade were also examined. In addition, achievement in understanding of content area strands was measured in students taking contextualized technical courses. The results indicate that there is no significant difference in the OAKS tests scores between students who had taken Contextualized Technical Courses and those who had not at this site. However there is evidence that student mastery of individual content standard strands can be increased in Contextualized Technical Courses.
Aldred, K.G. The effects of Contextualized Technical Courses, where mathematics is embedded, situated, and generative, on the mathematics achievement of high school students. Ph.D. thesis, George Fox University.
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