Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Mohammed K. Farouk

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

M. O. Thirunarayanan

Third Advisor's Name

Leonard Bliss

Fourth Advisor's Name

Maria Fernandez

Keywords

Mathematics, Technology, Acheivement, Gender, SES, Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP), Geometry, Manova, Acheivement gap, Minority

Date of Defense

3-30-2009

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the use of technology on students’ mathematics achievement, particularly the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) mathematics results.

Eleven schools within the Miami-Dade County Public School System participated in a pilot program on the use of Geometers Sketchpad (GSP). Three of these schools were randomly selected for this study. Each school sent a teacher to a summer in-service training program on how to use GSP to teach geometry. In each school, the GSP class and a traditional geometry class taught by the same teacher were the study participants. Students’ mathematics FCAT results were examined to determine if the GSP produced any effects. Students’ scores were compared based on assignment to the control or experimental group as well as gender and SES. SES measurements were based on whether students qualified for free lunch.

The findings of the study revealed a significant difference in the FCAT mathematics scores of students who were taught geometry using GSP compared to those who used the traditional method. No significant differences existed between the FCAT mathematics scores of the students based on SES. Similarly, no significant differences existed between the FCAT scores based on gender.

In conclusion, the use of technology (particularly GSP) is likely to boost students’ FCAT mathematics test scores. The findings also show that the use of GSP may be able to close known gender and SES related achievement gaps. The results of this study promote policy changes in the way geometry is taught to 10th grade students in Florida’s public schools.

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