Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cleland, Kenneth L.||Wheeler, Wallace J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Education


Arithmetic--Study and teaching (Elementary); Science--Study and teaching


The purpose of this study was to discover to what degree arithmetic was used in the teaching of science in the intermediate grades, and to conduct a survey of the available material and techniques that will help children see the relationship between the two subjects. The investigator approached the problem in three different ways. First, a questionnaire was sent to fifth and sixth grade teachers to determine how many arithmetic problems they used in their teaching of science throughout the year. Secondly, a survey was made of fifth and sixth grade textbooks to determine how many arithmetic problems were found in them. Finally, a list of arithmetic problems was compiled that could be used in teaching intermediate science classes. The questionnaire first directed the teachers to indicate whether or not they believed that science classes offered an opportunity for students to use arithmetic skills. The directions then stated to list the approximate number of problems they gave to the class in each of the thirteen general science areas. Also, they were to break down the total of each area into two groups; 'A', those assigned to the whole class, and 'B', those worked by only one, or a few, as in demonstrations or enrichment activities. Of the seventy questionnaires sent exit, forty-five were returned. Thirty-six of the teachers indicated they believed this procedure was worthwhile. Six did not believe it was useful. The three science areas with the largest totals the following; Air and Weather, Earth, and Space and the Universe. In the fifth grade, type 'A' problems represented 60.03 per cent of the total problems. In the sixth grade, type 'A' problems comprised 71.04 per cent of the total. There was a total of 831.5 problems listed. The sixth grade had 502.5 problems listed compared to the fifth grade total of 329. The results showed a favorable attitude toward this procedure by teachers, and a moderate use of arithmetic skills in their teaching science. The fifth and sixth grade textbooks of nine publishers were surveyed for arithmetic problem. These were listed under the same general science areas that were used in the questionnaire. Each area was subdivided into three classifications; (1) the regular text which is usually read by the student, (2) the supplementary section, which appears at the end of most chapters, and (3) the manual. The problem were then listed in one of the preceding motions. The results showed that there were very few problems found in the textbooks. On the fifth grade level only ten problem were found in the nine texts surveyed. The regular text had five of the total, the supplementary section listed three, and the manual suggested two. The sixth grade text had considerably more with forty-five listed. However, two of these texts contained forty of the forty-five problems. The remaining seven lad only five problems among them. The supplementary section had twenty-seven of the problems, the regular text had fifteen, and the manual suggested three. The two leading science areas were Our Body, and Space and the Universe with fifteen and ten, respectively. Five areas in the sixth grade group had no problem listed for them. The combined totals for the fifth and sixth grades showed Our Body first with sixteen problems, and Space and the Universe second with twelve. Five areas did not have problems listed for them in either the fifth or sixth grade groups. In conclusion, the textbook survey showed that there were very few problems in the fifth and sixth grade science texts. If the teacher is to incorporate the use of arithmetic in science, aids in accomplishing this will most likely have to come from sources other than textbooks. The questionnaire Indicated the teachers generally favor this type of integration procedure, and in the opinion of the investigator, use it to a moderate degree.


Includes bibliographical references.


viii, 47 pages




Northern Illinois University

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