Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Building a concrete foundation: A mixed-method study of teaching styles and the use of concrete, representational, and abstract mathematics instruction
by Thigpen, L. Christine, Ph.D., Capella University, 2012, 163; 3517254
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore teaching styles and how frequently teachers with a variety of teaching styles incorporate multiple representations, such as manipulatives, drawings, counters, etc., in the middle school mathematics classroom. Through this explanatory mixed methods study it was possible to collect the quantitative data in regard to participants’ teaching styles and the frequency which students use multiple representations as a problem solving strategy as well as the qualitative data that focus on teachers’ perceptions about and decisions in regard to using multiple representations as an instructional strategy. For the quantitative component, survey research was conducted by administering the Grasha-Reichmann Teaching Style Inventory to all of the middle school mathematics teachers in a suburban Georgia school district and frequency data was compiled from students’ sample work of the case study participants. Both forms of frequency data were analyzed using a Chi-square (χ²) test or a Fisher’s exact test, based on the frequencies involved. The qualitative component of the study was comprised of multiple case studies that included teacher interviews and classroom observations to obtain information about teacher perceptions, teacher-student interactions, and student-student interactions within the mathematics classrooms where a variety of representations are used by teachers when introducing mathematical concepts and by students when they are involved in problem solving tasks. It is the intent of this study to provide a research base to illustrate the need for professional development in the area of multiple representations for sixth through eighth grade mathematics teachers and the need for resources so that teachers can successfully implement the use of multiple representations as an instructional strategy as recommended by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2000).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gibson, Adrienne
Commitee: Beazley, Jackson, Scaramella, Eugene
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Middle School education
Keywords: Constructivism, Instruction, Mathematics, Middle school, Representations, Teaching style
Publication Number: 3517254
ISBN: 9781267473578