Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith


The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of reading guides as a teaching method for word problem comprehension. Attitudes toward mathematics were also examined. A quasi-experimental, nonrandomized, pretest-posttest, treatment group design was used for the investigation. The sample consisted of 40 students (two classes) taught by the same instructor and was equated in terms of mathematics levels, ages, and IQ scores. One treatment group used reading guides to comprehend mathematics word problems. The other treatment group utilized a "general approach" to comprehend the same set of problems.

The students were pretested on a word problem comprehension test based on word problems used in the study. Each form consisted of five sets of fifteen statements sequenced in the literal, interpretive, and applied orders. Attitudes toward mathematics were also pretested on the mathematics section of the Estes Attitude Scales (Secondary Form).

The instructor presented twenty-one word problems throughout the investigation. One treatment group received instruction using reading guides designed by the researcher.

The other treatment group received instruction using a general approach to solving the same set of problems. Upon completion of the eight week treatment period, students were posttested.

A one-tailed t-test for independent means was used to analyze the data at a .05 level of significance. The results indicated that overall mean posttest scores were not significantly different between the reading guide and general approach groups for word problem comprehension. This was also the case when the scores were analyzed in terms of sex differences. Analysis of posttest scores for the attitude toward mathematics inventory revealed a significant gain in attitude for those students who were instructed using reading guides. Recommendations for classroom use of reading guides as well as suggestions for future research were given.