Cooperative learning in mathematical writing: Problem -solving, self -perceptions, and attitudes of fifth -grade female, minority students

Joan Marie Woods, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to combine cooperative learning and the mathematical process (the Writing in Math Program) to understand the processes reflective of female, minority student achievement, attitudes, and behavior.^ Four research questions were addressed in this study.^ Question 1 asked what pre-existing abilities in mathematical processing existed in the sample of female minority students.^ Question 2 asked how the Writing in Math method allowed for the development of mathematical processing abilities in these students.^ Question 3 asked what the effect of mathematical processing and collaborative dynamics was on these students in terms of specific characteristics.^ Question 4 asked if these processes revealed through mathematics processing reflect a particular female learning style.^ The present study included nine students selected from the fifth grade of CES 2, a public school in the South Bronx, a well-documented poverty area.^ The materials for data collection in this study included a Favored Academic Subject Questionnaire and a questionnaire assessing their perceptions of competent in, and valuing of, activities in Reading and Math.^ Procedures administered prior to the study were: introduction of cooperative learning, review of the elements found in the Writing Process, and introduction of cooperative learning followed by the Writing Process.^ Procedures administered during the study, following a daily lesson plan, included the following elements: objective, prior knowledge, introducing the lesson, developing the lesson, cooperative learning activities, and journal writing.^ Findings for Question 1 indicated adequate pre-existing abilities for students' inclusion in the study.^ Findings for Question 2 indicated that the purpose of this study was successful in providing a method in which to understand the processes reflective of female student achievement, attitudes, and behavior.^ The analysis of cooperative learning and journal writing in Question 3 demonstrated the effectiveness of these two components as learning experiences.^ Findings for question 4 indicated that the positive results found in Questions 2 and 3A demonstrated the presence of the characteristics of female learning found within these fifth-grade students. ^

Subject Area

Education, Mathematics|Education, Elementary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Woods, Joan Marie, "Cooperative learning in mathematical writing: Problem -solving, self -perceptions, and attitudes of fifth -grade female, minority students" (1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9809026.