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An exploratory study of the effect of co-operative group learning, involving tutoring, on the achievement and attitudes of grade eight pupils in new mathematics Murphy, Patrick Aloysius

Abstract

An exploratory investigation into the effect of co-operative group learning, involving tutoring, on the achievement and attitudes of 174 grade eight pupils in new mathematics is described. Three volunteer teachers and six volunteered mathematics classes were involved. Five hypotheses concerning test performance and one concerning attitudes were advanced. Using the scores obtained in the mathematics sections of the Stanford Achievement Test (Advanced) and an entering behaviour test of prior mathematics learning, to establish similarity of the groups, instruction was carried out over a period of twelve weeks. A retention test was given two months later. Attitude scores from data collected by Semantic Differential before and after the experiment were analysed using a model for multidimensional analysis of Semantic Differential attitude data (McKie and Foster, 1972). Achievement in algebra learning and retention reached the .05 level of statistical significance, favouring the experimental group. No differences for treatment occurred for instructor effects, instructor by group interaction or attitudes at the .05 level of statistical significance. Conclusions for further research and practice are drawn.

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