Term

Spring 5-7-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Shelley Orr

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Michael Diedrich

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Kerry Gautsch

Abstract

The research conduced in this study addressed the question: what are the academic and psychological effects of teaching students with learning disabilities to solve word problems using cognitive and metacognitive strategies? During the study, metacognitive and cognitive strategies are employed by a teacher in her middle school math class composed of students with various disabilities. It included using a prescribed method to approach each word problem presented, followed by reflection questions that tracked students’ growth in self-confidence. The researcher documents the exact methods used and utilizes related research literature as a basis for this study. She reflects on the both success and struggles in implementing this method in a special education math classroom. These main areas of study were focused on students improving on solving a variety of word problem, how that growth compared to their overall math growth, and changes in their problem solving self-confidence as they grew familiar with these methods. The research found that 8th graders made bigger gains by using the strategies to solve word problems, while 6th graders grew more in overall math skills.

Research Methodology

Action Research

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