Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Teaching & Learning
The purpose of this study of writing to lcam college algebra was to explore how writing in a college algebra course affected the learning experiences of a group of undergraduate students. The study included an analysis of the existing literature on the writing to learn process. Several writing to team techniques suggested by the literature were used in the teaching of the course. The students' perceptions of these processes were recorded and analyzed for the study. This research was important because it allowed students' voices to be heard regarding writing to learn mathematics as a form of pedagogical and curricular reform.
Phenomenology, a form of qualitative research involving data collection and analysis, was the methodology employed in this study. Journal writings and exit interviews provided the principal forms of qualitative data. The data were analyzed and categorized into three areas: student effects, teacher effects, and student and teacher effects.
The findings from the study included both benefits and disadvantages for student writers and teacher reader. Ten outcomes held true for most of the participants of the study: • Writing promoted student comprehension of mathematics. • Writing facilitated students in making personal meaning of mathematical concepts. • Writing became a vehicle for an ongoing dialogue between student and teacher. • Writing allowed for student reflection regarding the learning of mathematics. • Writ .ng fostered teacher analysis of the rhythms of learning mathematics. • Writing brought moments of clarity and of genius. • Writing permitted authentic and alternative assessment. • Writing provided a forum for disclosure for both student and teacher. • Writing assisted in the development of a community of learners by encouraging classroom disclosure. • Writing caused disadvantages for some students and the teacher.
The findings from this study will enlarge and enhance the understanding of how students leam mathematics and how writing to learn mathematics might be used as an effective form of mathematics educational reform. Several recommendations arc given regarding future courses and studies involving writing to leam mathematics.
Mower, Patricia A., "Writing to Learn College Algebra" (1995). Theses and Dissertations. 2724.