The effect of teacher-directed journal writing on fifth-grade student mathematics achievement

Margaret Ann Bauman, Marquette University

Abstract

Recent writing theories have suggested that the process of writing may be used as an aid to learning. The concept of writing-to-learn has been promoted by teachers in all grade levels and all subject areas but has seldom been the focus of research. The purpose of this study was two-fold: to examine the effects of writing-to-learn activities on fifth grade students' mathematical achievement and to examine student and teacher perceptions as to the value of using the writing-to-learn activities as learning strategies in the mathematics classroom. The effect of writing-to-learn activities on mathematics achievement was studied through a pretest-posttest nonequivalent design. An analysis of covariance with the pretest as the single covariate was used to analyze the data. Student and teacher perceptions as to the value of the writing-to-learn activities were examined through student and teacher questionnaires. Subjects included 182 fifth grade students in a midwestern, suburban school district as well as the four teachers who served in the experimental subjects' classrooms. The duration of the study was one semester of approximately 90 days. Results of the study indicated that the activities did not have a statistically significant effect on the mathematic achievement of the fifth grade subjects. Responses to the student questionnaire indicated that the majority of students perceived the writing-to-learn activities as a strategy for helping them understand mathematic concepts. Responses to the teacher questionnaire indicated that teachers perceived the writing-to-learn activities as a valuable aid to student learning and a valuable aid to planning further instruction. Although statistical analysis did not indicate that students who completed writing-to-learn activities achieved at significantly higher rate than students who did not complete the activities, the responses to the study's questionnaires indicated that both students and teachers perceived the writing as a valuable aid in the learning process.

Recommended Citation

Bauman, Margaret Ann, "The effect of teacher-directed journal writing on fifth-grade student mathematics achievement" (1992). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9227116.
https://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9227116

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