Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Mathematics Education



Major Advisor

Laurie O. Cavey, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Margaret T. Kinzel, Ph.D.


Susan Knights, MS


A control group and an experimental group of college students at a community college in the Pacific Northwest were taught a unit on linear equations in two variables. The control group was taught using a traditional instructional approach that focused on learning procedures and the experimental group was taught using a quantitative reasoning instructional approach that focused on learning proportional and functional reasoning. Both groups were then given the same unit assessment that had 10 procedural understanding items and 10 conceptual understanding items related to linear equations in two variables. The assessment was given to determine the impact of the quantitative reasoning instructional approach on performance of linear equations in two variables tasks. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of items on the unit assessment found that in relation to the control group, the experimental students demonstrated better performance in proportional reasoning ability, and had no difference in either functional reasoning ability or performance on procedural tasks. The experimental students received more instruction focused on conceptual understanding compared to the control group without sacrificing their procedural understanding. Analysis also revealed that community college students enrolled in beginning algebra can have misconceptions about what constitutes a linear relationship and the meaning of a variable quantity.

Included in

Algebra Commons