Date of Award

6-1997

Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Mike Steele

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative research was to improve student learning in mathematics. The research was designed to answer one central question: how is writing best integrated into the mathematical curriculum in a way that is beneficial to the students? Since writing has often been excluded from the mathematics curriculum, students will · need to adjust to the changes which will -- enable them to become better mathematicians. In the long run, students will understand mathematics rather than simply performing algorithms. The' students will benefit from writing in mathematics by becoming better problem solvers, thus better members of society. The study took place at a small pu~lic school in the Pacific Northwest. The school had under 400 students and resided in a supportive community. The participants of the study were high school mathematics students. The participants aided me in collecting data by writing journals and answering open-ended questions. I conducted one interview for the sake of understanding the feelings of the student about writing in mathematics. In order to protect the participants in the study, I have used anonymous' quotes and pseudonyms when names were necessary. Through the analysis of the data, my research answered the central question: how is writing best integrated into the mathematical curriculum in a way that is beneficial to the students? There three main ways of integrating mathematics into the mathematics curriculum: journal writings, open-ended question, and portfolios. All three were found to be beneficial to the students; therefore, each method should be integrated into all mathematics classrooms .

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