ERIC Number: ED244748
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Dimensions of Math Avoidance among American Indian Elementary School Students. Final Report.
Leap, William L.; And Others
Using a cross-cultural perspective, researchers studied the "math avoidance syndrome," which has reached crisis proportions among American Indians, at two elementary schools on Utah's Northern Ute Reservation and Wisconsin's Oneida Indian Reservation in 1980. Researchers gathered data by observing math instruction at the schools and by interviewing parents, teachers, tribal officials, and a group of students from third and fourth grade classrooms. They also discussed with tribal elders each tribe's style of computation and problem solving. Results showed that, contrary to widely held beliefs, neither degree of traditionality nor sex of student served as an accurate predictor of student math attainment or interest in math. Perceived conflicts between school and home regarding function and purpose of education, social organization of math lessons, incompatibility of classroom management styles, student-preferred patterns of self-dependence, familiarity with the tribe's traditional enumeration system, and other factors were found to be more significant variables. What emerged from the study was not a listing of causes for Indian student math avoidance, but a configuration of behavioral and attitudinal dimensions, each working with the other, that encourage or inhibit math learning. Implications for future research and for classroom policy are given. (Author/SB)
Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indian Education, American Indian Reservations, American Indians, Comparative Analysis, Computation, Elementary Education, Grade 3, Grade 4, Mathematics Achievement, Mathematics Anxiety, Number Concepts, Predictor Variables, Research Methodology, Sex Differences, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Tribes
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Univ., Washington, DC.
Identifiers: Northern Ute Reservation UT; Oneida Indian Reservation WI
Note: Tables are marginally legible.