Date of Award

Winter 1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Betsy Ann Balzano

Second Advisor

Linda Schloner

Third Advisor

Patricia E. Baker

Abstract

The Rochester City School District participates in the Technical Education Research Center (TERC) Math Program which uses a hands-on, inquiry-based teaching model in improving math, science, and technology in an urban setting. Students are encouraged to use words, pictures, and numbers to explain their problems, with a focus less on obtaining the correct answer than on explaining how that answer was found. The TERC program is used in a third grade inclusion class which contains students with and without special needs. This study asks whether special education students in an inclusion classroom have a different perception about math than regular education students who are in an inclusion classroom. A selection of special needs and non-special needs students were taught a two week unit on addition and subtraction. The students completed independent work, homework assignments, and cooperative work. Following the unit, all students were interviewed and their parents were surveyed for any noticeable changes in their children’s attitudes towards math. The findings show that both groups of students share similar positive feelings about math when using inquiry learning. Students were able to complete their assignments, parents were pleased with their children’s progress, and the students themselves enjoyed the unit. The author recommends longer studies at different grade levels to see if the similarities in attitudes persist.

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