Date of Award
Education Specialist (Ed.S)
Advanced Education Programs
In the United States equal educational opportunities for every child is an ideal and within this ideal is the implication that, with these educational opportunities, each child will develop his own capacities to their maximum level. However at various periods in the educational process, the school through the administrator, teacher, or counselor makes recommendations which may or may not lead the student into a selection of a course of study commensurate with his aptitudes. These recommendations are not always based upon the best available estimate of the student's ability when compared with the requirements of the course under question. At the ninth grade level students today have a choice of various types of subjects within a broader area. One such area is the field of mathematics. Douglass (10) pointed out that if all pupils beyond the eighth grade are to be required to take mathematics, then the appropriate types of mathematics should be offered. And, Reeve (26) pointed out that if the student is to have appropriate types of mathematics to develop to the utmost his own capacities, there must be a double-track in mathematics in the ninth grade: algebra for some and general mathematics for others. The great concern of teachers, administrators, and counselors that students should select subjects for which they have aptitude has brought about a search for predictive criteria. Dickter (9), however, noted that to predict success would be desirable but there seemed to be no agreement on the means to be used. And, Douglass (10) suggested that it was but a matter of finding the proper measuring devices or combinations thereof. At this time, in the Dodge City Junior High School the student faces for the first time the problem of having to choose between two mathematics courses--algebra and general mathematics. Student eligibility for algebra generally has been based upon previous school record, general test results, and the recommendation of the eighth grade arithmetic teachers. Other students wishing to take algebra are permitted to do so provided the classes are not full. Opportunity is provided for students taking the general mathematics course in the junior high school to enroll in algebra at either the tenth or eleventh grade. "Matching the man to the job" was advocated by Frank Parsons as early as 1908; Bobbitt (5) in 1918 remarked that "individuals differ in their natural capacities and no amount of educational labor would develop large ability in those possessing low natural capacities… Those with large potential capacity should have t heir powers fully unfolded.” Today our educational programs are greatly interested in both Parsons' and Bobbitt's propositions but how is it possible to discover objectively these "large potential capacities” so that vocationally each person will be trained in proportion to these capacities? How shall the school discover which students could expect to succeed in the study of mathematics? 3 Thus, the purpose of this study is to develop objective measuring devices singly or in combination which will, when used with teacher recommendations, perhaps eliminate some of the border lines elections leading to failure, or which may with reservations, lend encouragement to some students who are hesitant in selecting algebra at the ninth grade level, and last but not least give encouragement to other students to continue the study of mathematics at the senior high school level.
Copyright 1962 Lucille D. Wilson
Wilson, Lucille D., "A Study to Predict Success in Mathematics for Students in the Secondary Schools of Dodge City, Kansas" (1962). Master's Theses. 770.