Capstone/Dissertation Title

How can valid real-world examples be used to improve knowledge of algebraic and probability concepts for urban learners?

Term

2011

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

The research question addressed is, how can valid real-world examples be used to improve knowledge of algebraic and probability concepts for urban learners? The motivation for this capstone was to find ways for students to improve achievement in algebra and probability on standardized state math tests. Key influence for this capstone is Ladson-Billings' work with culturally relevant pedagogy. The author teaches two lessons centered on relevant real-world contexts. One lesson uses teen pregnancy to teach solving linear systems. The other lesson uses racial profiling to teach theoretical probability. The author collects data using surveys and assessments. Qualitative analysis shows that students were engaged with the contexts and were able to connect the mathematics to them. However, students still needed more time and guidance transferring mathematical skills from real-world contexts to standardized test questions.

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