Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Earl H. Cheek, Jr

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of two levels of instructional treatment on sixth graders' ability to solve mathematical story problems. The two levels of instructional treatment were instruction in the use of graphic organizers in conjunction with specific analytic reading skills and instruction in specific analytic reading instruction alone. These were compared to the absence of either treatment. The steady decline in students' scores on measures of ability to read and solve story problems over the past decade prompted research in three sixth-grade public school classes in northeast Louisiana. The study employed an experimental/control, three-group design. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to adjust for any intact group mean differences. The Tukey (HSD) ad hoc comparison was applied to those results. The independent variable was instructional treatment. The Story Problems Test, an instrument developed and pilot-tested by the investigator, was the criterion measure for the study. The covariate was the achievement scores derived from the preadministration of the instrument and the dependent variable was the postadministration achievement scores that measured the effects of the treatments. Instruction in the use of graphic organizers in conjunction with analytic reading skills resulted in significantly higher ($p < .05)$ adjusted post-mean scores when compared to the group that received no treatment. There was no significant difference between the adjusted post-mean scores of students instructed in utilization of graphic organizers and analytic reading skills when compared to those instructed in analytic reading skills alone. A significant difference $(p < .05)$ was found between those students instructed in analytic reading skills as compared to those who received no treatment. There was no significant difference in the relationship between specific reading ability and problem solving ability and between computation and problem solving ability as measured by the subtests of the Story Problems Test. The findings of this study support the notion that instruction in specific analytic reading skills (with or without graphic organizers) improves students' ability to solve story problems.

ISBN

9780591035155

Pages

146

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