Attitudes toward mathematics and basic mathematical understanding of prospective elementary school teachers at Brigham Young University Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2r36v198m

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  • Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a required mathematics content course upon prospective elementary school teachers at Brigham Young University. The investigation consisted of three major areas: (1) attitudes toward mathematics, (2) basic mathematical understanding, and (3) the relationship between certain selected variables. Procedure Pre- and post- tests of basic mathematical understanding and attitudes toward mathematics were given to the 186 students enrolled in a required mathematics content course at Brigham Young University during fall semester 1964. A personal data sheet was completed by each student to obtain background information. A Test of Basic Mathematical Understanding developed by Vincent J. Glennon was used to measure the basic mathematical understandings possessed by the student and Wilbur H. Dutton's Arithmetic Attitude Scale was used to measure the students' attitudes toward mathematics. A t -test for matched groups was used to determine if the changes in attitudes and mathematical understandings were significant. A product - moment correlation was used to determine if a relationship existed between certain selected variables. Item analysis was used to determine the areas of change in attitudes toward mathematics and basic mathematical understanding. Findings There was a significant improvement in attitudes toward mathematics and basic mathematical understanding while the students were enrolled in this mathematics course. The t -ratio was significant at the . 001 level of confidence. The following variables were found to have a positive significant relationship at the . 001 level of confidence: 1. Pre -test attitude scores and final grades. Z. Post -test attitude scores and final grades. 3. Pre -test scores on mathematical understanding and final grades. grades. 4. Post -test scores on mathematical understanding and final 5. American College Test mathematics scores and pre -test scores on mathematical understanding. The following variables were found to have no significant relationship at the . 05 level of confidence: 1. Pre -test attitude scores and change in mathematical understanding. 2. Changes in attitudes and changes in mathematical understanding. Conclusions The following conclusions were drawn from this study: 1. Most prospective elementary school teachers liked some aspects of mathematics and disliked others. 2. The attitudes of prospective elementary school teachers toward mathematics were improved by taking this course. 3. There was a significant gain in basic mathematical understanding by prospective elementary school teachers while they were taking this course. 4. Attitudes toward mathematics and basic mathematical understanding were significantly related to success in this course as measured by the final grade. 5. There was no significant relationship between attitudes toward mathematics and change in basic mathematical understanding while students were enrolled in this course. 6. The American College Test mathematics score is a good predictor of success in this course as measured by the final grade.
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