A study on solution techniques used by eighth grade mathematics students while solving systems of equations.
Hood, Shane M.
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SubjectMathematics -- Study and teaching (Middle school).; Differential-algebraic equations -- Numerical solutions.; Test-taking skills.; Problem solving -- Study and teaching.
This research examines the effects of instructional order in regard to preference and achievement of solution techniques when solving systems of equations algebraically. It is hypothesized that students in an eighth grade mathematics classroom will have a preference for the technique they use for solving a system of equations. Additionally, that preference will be determined by which technique was introduced to the student first. To test this hypothesis students from four different classes were divided into two groups, students who would learn substitution first and students who would learn elimination first. Each group would be introduced to the alternate technique directly after the first. After both groups were familiar with the two techniques, an assessment was given tracking and comparing achievement and technique used on each problem between the students in the two groups. Additionally, a survey was given directly after the assessment to determine how the students felt about both techniques and trends from these surveys were also compared.