## Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations

1965

#### Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Miller, Herbert (Professor of mathematics)||Beach, James W.

#### Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

#### Legacy Department

Department of Mathematics

#### LCSH

Algebra--Study and teaching

#### Abstract

Discussions among the members of the mathematics department at Glenbard West High School, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, during the process of selecting a new text for ninth grade algebra led the author to consider the relative effects of a modem and a traditional algebra course on critical thinking ability. The author decided to measure the change in critical thinking ability of two groups of ninth graders, one taught by the modern method, the other by the traditional method. Five classes at Glenbard West were used as the group being taught by the modern approach and five classes at Elmwood Park High School, Elmwood Park, Illinois, were used as the group being taught by the traditional method. The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal was used as the criterion test and I.Q. scores given by the Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Test were held as covariates. At the beginning of the academic year 1963-1964, the criterion test was given to both groups of students. The test was given again in June, 1964, at the end of the course in algebra. The methods of the standard t test and analysis of variance were applied to determine which, if either, course was more effective in improving critical thinking ability. The students taking the modern course in algebra comprised the treated group and the students in the traditional classes comprised the untreated group. The findings of the study follow: 1. The treated group scored a mean of 59.14 on the initial criterion test and the untreated group scored a mean of 56.41. The difference of 2.73 was significant at the .05 level of confidence. 2. The treated group scored a mean of 62.49 on the final criterion test and the untreated group scored a mean of 57.95. The difference of 4.54 was significant at the .001 level of confidence. 3. The treated group scored a mean of 59.14 on the initial criterion test and a mean of 62.49 on the final criterion test. The difference of 3.35 was significant at the .001 level of confidence. 4. The untreated group scored a mean of 56.41 on the initial criterion test and a mean of 57.95 on the final criterion test. The difference of 1.54 was not significant at the .05 level. 5. The coefficient of correlation between I.Q. and final criterion test scores for the treated group was .36. 6. The coefficient of correlation between the I.Q. and final criterion test scores for the untreated group was .38. 7. The difference between the two coefficients of correlation was .02 and this difference was not significant at the .01 level of confidence. 8. The difference between the means of final criterion test scores for the two groups with I.Q. and initial criterion test scores held as covariates was significant at the .01 level of confidence. 9. The difference between the means of final criterion test scores for the two groups with initial test scores held as a covariate was significant at the .01 level of confidence. 10. The difference between the means of the final criterion test scores for both groups with I.Q. held as a covariate was significant at the .01 level of confidence. The author concluded that for students of the caliber involved in the experiment, the modern course in ninth grade algebra will produce more increase in critical thinking ability than the traditional course.

Includes bibliographical references.

ix, 42 pages

eng

#### Publisher

Northern Illinois University