ERIC Number: ED377072
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Field Dependence-Independence and Holistic Instruction in Mathematics.
Smith, Tommy; Easterday, Kenneth E.
Efforts are being made to modify existing analytical teaching methods and curricula in mathematics to make them more holistic, to better match the learning styles of minority students. These changes have to be made by existing secondary and college mathematics faculty. Given the properties of field dependence-independence in human cognition, perception, and personality, it may be difficult for current mathematics teachers, who are likely to be highly field independent, to teach in a more field dependent manner and to create mathematics curricula that are less analytical. This study compared levels of field dependence-independence among four groups of (n=201) undergraduate students: mathematics majors, secondary mathematics education majors, other secondary education majors, and other majors. Subjects were given the Group Embedded Figures Test. Data analyses indicated group differences on the measure of field independence. No significant differences were found between the mathematics and secondary mathematics education majors; however, secondary mathematics education majors were more field independent than the group of other majors in secondary education, and mathematics majors were significantly more field independent than other majors and other secondary education majors. The implications of these group differences with regard to holistic teaching and curricula are discussed. Contains 25 references. (MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Group Embedded Figures Test