Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
W. Clement Wood
The purpose of this study was to compare the results of teaching mathematics by the traditional approach and the modern approach. The study was limited to Eighth Grade Mathematics and Algebra I, and to those students who attended Glendale High School, Springfield, Missouri. The study consisted of two parts - Eighth Grade Mathematics and Algebra I. In the Eighth Grade Comparison Group, students who had Eighth Grade Mathematics in 1962-63 used a traditional mathematics textbook, and those who had the course in 1963-64 used a modern mathematics textbook. Students were selected from these two groups, and they were matched according to the same I.Q. score determined in grade eight and the same sex. There were 185 matched pairs. In the Algebra I Comparison Group, students who had Algebra I in 1962-63 studied from a traditional Algebra I textbook, and those who had Algebra I in 1963-64 studied from a modern textbook. Students were paired from these two Algebra I groups similar to the method used for pairing the Eighth Grade Mathematics Group. The measures used for comparing mathematics achievement of the Eighth Grade Comparison Group were Ninth Grade Mathematics marks and Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Ability, and Abstract Reasoning parts of the Differential Aptitude Test scores. The measures used for the Algebra I Comparison Group were Geometry marks, and the Mathematics Reasoning and Mathematics Fundamentals part of the California Achievement Test scores. In the Eighth Grade Comparison Group, the Traditional Group showed higher on the more elementary Ninth Grade Mathematics course marks and on the Numerical Ability Test scores. The Modern Group was higher on Algebra I marks, the Verbal Reasoning Test scores, and the Abstract Reasoning Test scores. In the Algebra I Comparison Group, the Traditional Group showed higher on each item compared. There is one important factor that probably favored the Traditional Groups in both Comparison Groups, and that was the fact that the teachers were using the modern mathematics textbooks for the first time; also, modern mathematics was new for many of the teachers. This should have caused the mathematics instruction for the Modern Groups to be somewhat inferior to the instruction for the Traditional Group. It could not be determined just how much this factor altered the results of this study.
Copyright 1966 Kenneth W. Clark
Clark, Kenneth W., "A Comparison of Traditional and Modern Mathematical Results in Grades Eight and Nine, Springfield, Missouri" (1966). Master's Theses. 970.