EFFECTS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING ON MATHEMATICS PROBLEM SOLVING WITH NINTH-GRADE STUDENTS USING A UNIT ON FLOWCHARTING

STEPHEN ISRAEL LEITMAN, Fordham University

Abstract

Previous research on computer education has dealt primarily with computer-assisted instruction and its effects on student performance. Few studies have dealt with student interaction with the computer in the area of programming and its relationship to the improvement of mathematics skills. This study focused on flowcharting as one area of computer programming which relates to mathematics problem solving, as shown by Polya's (1957) theory of problem solving using an algorithmic foundation.^ Specifically, the investigator sought to answer the following questions: (1) Did a significant difference exist in the mean scores on a pretest of mathematics problem solving between students who received instruction in both a ninth-grade mathematics course and a computer programming course with a unit of flowcharting, and those students who received instruction only in a ninth-grade mathematics course? (2) Did a significant difference exist in the mean scores on a posttest of mathematics problem solving between ninth-grade students enrolled in a mathematics course and a computer programming course with a unit on flowcharting, and those students enrolled only in a ninth-grade mathematics course? (3) Did a significant difference exist in the mean scores on a posttest of mathematics problem solving between ninth-grade students enrolled in a New York State Regents mathematics course and ninth-grade students enrolled in a non-Regents mathematics course?^ Analysis of the data led to the following conclusions: (a) The experimental group did not score significantly higher than the control group on the posttest on problem solving; (b) Both groups in the experimental condition using the unit of flowcharting did show higher mean gains on pretest-posttest scores on problem solving than the groups in the control condition which did not use flowcharting.^ A major educational implication indicated that computer flowcharting is not merely a skill which helps students work with a computer. Organizational skills needed for flowcharting affect improvement in the mathematical skills of problem solving, which must follow an algorithmic progression for solution utilizing these organizational skills. ^

Subject Area

Mathematics education

Recommended Citation

LEITMAN, STEPHEN ISRAEL, "EFFECTS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING ON MATHEMATICS PROBLEM SOLVING WITH NINTH-GRADE STUDENTS USING A UNIT ON FLOWCHARTING" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8616824.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8616824

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