BROWN-LOPEZ, PRISCILLA,ALVA,MARIE (2010) Analysis of the effects of a Constructivist-Based Mathematics Problem Solving Instructional Program on the achievement of Grade Five Students in Belize, Central America. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
This thesis examined whether social constructivist activities can improve the mathematical competency of grade five students in Belize, Central America. The sample included 342 students and eight teachers from two rural and urban schools. A switching replication design was employed enabling students in the experimental groups to be taught using social constructivist activities for 12 weeks and the controls exposed to similar instructional practices from weeks 7 to 12. Students‘ performance was assessed using Pre-test, Post test 1 and 2 with an internal consistency of 0.89, 0.90 and 0.93 respectively. As revealed by the repeated measures ANOVA within subject analysis, there were significant differences among the pre-test and post test 1 and 2 results. That is, students in the control groups, who were instructed using a procedural approach from weeks 1 to 6, demonstrated higher gains than the experimental groups who were immersed in social constructivist activities. Furthermore, when the control groups became immersed in similar activities from weeks 7 to 12, they continued to outperform the experimental groups who were exposed to social constructivist activities alone. Hence, due to this unexpected result, the aim of this thesis became to explain why these results came about and what implications for teaching were highlighted by the consideration.
Besides the quantitative results highlighted above, qualitative data was also obtained as part of the study. For example, students were videoed within constructivist math groups and their performance analyzed using Pirie and Kieren‘s (1994) Model of Growth for Mathematical Understanding. The data from the video recording revealed that use of one step math problems did not enabled students to restructure their thinking to solve innovative problems. Data from semi-structured interviews also revealed that some students lacked basic math skills and were not exposed or guided to solve complex problems. Besides the need for careful examination of social constructivist activities on performance, this thesis underscores the importance of relevant teaching and learning activities, the important role of teachers during social constructivist activities and the need to identify suitable forms of assessment to measure performance.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Education|
|Keywords:||social constructivism, higher order thinking, effective pedagogical practices|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||19 Nov 2010 12:32|