Title page for ETD etd-07082009-210213


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Solh, Haitham Sleiman
Author's Email Address hsolh1@lsu.edu
URN etd-07082009-210213
Title Investigating Conceptual Teaching Strategies in a Computer Based Mathematics Curriculum: The Case of R2R
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
David Kirshner Committee Chair
Eugene Kennedy Committee Member
Frank Neubrander Committee Member
Yiping Lou Committee Member
Seung Jong Park Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • conceptual and procedural knowledge
  • computer assisted instruction
  • Technology
Date of Defense 2009-07-06
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study investigated the various teaching strategies implemented by the teachers in a computer-based Mathematics course delivery model created by the LSU Math Department and applied in Louisiana High Schools. This model was referred to as R2R (Roadmap to Redesign). It was a course design that includes whole class instruction time (about 25% of class time) in addition to time spent with teacher assistance utilizing computer software (MathXL) to practice exercises, submit homework assignments, and take quizzes and tests.The study aimed to determine the proportion of teachers using the R2R model that opt to support a conceptual agenda in their whole class instruction, the proportion of teachers that had a procedural focus in their instruction, and the instructional methods used by each of these groups.

The study employed a mixed methods design, where both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The quantitative data was collected through a survey instrument, and served to categorize teachers as potentially conceptual or potentially procedural, and determine the proportion of each category. The qualitative data were collected through observations and interviews, and served to portrait the characteristics of procedural and conceptual instruction.

The survey identified 7 out of 34 teachers as potentially oriented by conceptual goals in their R2R instruction, 8 teachers as procedurally oriented, and the remaining 19 teachers as intermediate in their orientation. Procedurally oriented teachers tended to demonstrate solution methods, focusing on the quickest and most efficient approach to solve a problem. Of three potentially conceptual teachers observed and interviewed in the study, none actually displayed instructional methods that aligned with their aspirations for student learning—all of them adopted procedural methods of instruction. However, one of the teachers, observed a second time during a portion of the course following the completion of R2R goals, did conduct a conceptually oriented lesson.

The initial motivation for this study was to document the ways in which conceptually oriented teachers adapt the R2R format to meet their goals. The study results tentatively suggested that the time constraints imposed by the R2R curriculum render this instructional approach incompatible with conceptually oriented instruction

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