Date of Award

5-1994

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Educational Administration

Major Professor

Norma Mertz

Committee Members

Mary Jane Connelly, Phyllis Huff, Steve Kuhn

Abstract

The purposes of this study included examination of curricular and instructional integration of mathematics and the sciences in a basic mathematics/elementary algebra course to see if it would (1) result in greater achievement in mathematics, (2) result in greater achievement in chemistry, (3) encourage transfer of learning from mathematics to chemistry, (4) result in more positive attitudes towards mathematics, and (5) would lessen anxiety levels towards mathematics. This study, conducted at Chattanooga State Technical Community College during the 1991-92 academic year, used a control/experimental design. Students who expressed an interest in nursing or another allied health field requiring basic chemistry, and who were required to enroll in a basic mathematics/elementary algebra course, were enrolled in one of two designated mathematics sections taught by the researcher. Students who completed one of these designated sections during the 1991 fall semester and who completed basic chemistry during the 1992 spring semester became the subjects of the study.

The control group was taught using a traditional approach, with no particular steps being taken to integrate mathematics and science and without the use of the calculator. The experimental group was taught with a curriculum designed to use the calculator extensively and to encourage integration of mathematics and science.

In order to determine whether the results were statistically significant, analyses of the date were made using the Student's t distribution. No difference in achievement in either basic mathematics or basic chemistry was found between the control and the experimental groups; nor was any difference in attitude concerning mathematics and in anxiety levels about mathematics found between the two groups. By the end of the semester, both groups did show a significant decrease in anxiety level towards mathematics. The hypothesis regarding transfer of mathematical skills from basic mathematics to basic chemistry could not be examined because there was not a large enough sample remaining after attrition during the semesters to provide for statistical analysis.

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