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ERIC Number: ED532731
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 51
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
Skinning the Pythagorean Cat: A Study of Strategy Preferences of Secondary Math Teachers
Maxcy, Clara A.
Online Submission, M.A. Thesis, Lee University
A series of observations in math classrooms revealed a pervasive problem of "re-teaching". It matters little the subject; before the teacher can begin teaching new material, basic skills often have to be re-taught before the lesson can move forward. Perhaps some methods are more effective than others in the classroom. Consequently, this study addressed two research questions: Q1: What teaching strategies are considered preferential by math teachers for teaching math concepts? Q2: Do teacher demographics influence those teacher preferences? Consequently, this study seeks to add to the existing literature regarding math teacher preferences for teaching the Pythagorean Theorem to high achieving and low achieving secondary mathematics students. Thirty mathematics teachers were asked to rate their preferences of six research-based standards with respect to teaching a specific math concept--the Pythagorean Theorem Additionally, teachers were asked to list their preferences separately for high achieving students and for low achieving students. While there were many interesting findings, two stand out: First, the significant difference (p less than 0.05; df = 28) in preferences for effective instruction between high and low achieving students. Teachers were in agreement that Questioning strategies were the main preference for teaching the Pythagorean Theorem to high achieving students, and that Nonlinguistic (manipulatives) were preferred for Low Achieving students; second was the importance given to Brain Compatible strategies. The teachers with more experience and/or higher educational achievement exhibited a significant difference (p less than 0.05; d f= 28) over those teachers with less education and experience, indicating a high preference for using Brain Compatible strategies with respect to teaching high achieving students in this specific mathematics concept. While no one strategy has been proven effective for all classroom situations, it was of interest to this researcher that survey respondents were generally in agreement with regard to the most effective way to "skin this Pythagorean cat." This researcher hopes that further research can be done to answer the new questions that were posed as a result of this study. Two appendixes present: (1) A Partial Listing of Tennessee State and Core Standards Involving the Pythagorean Theorem; and (2) Survey Document. (Contains 8 figures and 1 table.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A