How does using a model-centered approach to teaching linear equations affect students' attitudes about learning mathematics?





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This study addresses the effect that the use of interactive diagrams from GeoGebra and a focus on four representations has on students' attitudes toward learning linear equations. The key attitudes assessed are built on Schoenfeld's findings of mathematical attitudes commonly found in students and the Efficacy Institute's student survey built on the findings of Carol Dweck. Mixed methods were used. A pre- and post-unit survey identified key attitude changes and student interviews provided a depth of understanding as well as the student perspective of the attitude changes. Participants in the study were students of the researcher at an alternative learning center in Minnesota. Results indicate a positive student response in efficacy attitudes, but with the object of the attitude change being the teacher rather than the technology. Students demonstrated a deeper understanding of math as a system, but still viewed assignments and assessments as a process of following steps to obtain the correct answer.

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