Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

12-2010

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Masters of Science in Mathematics Education

Department

Mathematics

Major Advisor

Margaret T. Kinzel, Ph.D.

Abstract

Since current approaches to mathematical instruction fall short of the goals of NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) research was conducted in a small rural school district in the northwest United States evaluating inquiry based instruction. To complete the study two high school geometry classes were taught area formulation using a traditional lecture based approach to instruction. A third geometry class was taught area formulation utilizing inquiry-based instructional methods. Students in both groups took both a pre-test and post-test, filled out a questionnaire, and participated in a project designed to test their applications of mathematical understanding. Results indicated that inquiry-based instructional methods had a significant effect on students’ ability to solve decontextualized mathematical problems, students’ retention of the mathematics, and improved students’ attitudes about the mathematics in which they were engaged.

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