The Effect of Experiential Learning on the Mathematics Achievement and Mathematics Anxiety of African-American Students
School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
Gary W. Kuhne
Mathematics Anxiety, Experiential Learning, The Algebra Project, Traditional Instruction Methods, College Algebra, Math Reform
Education | Educational Methods | Higher Education
Wynn, Andrew Hanson, "The Effect of Experiential Learning on the Mathematics Achievement and Mathematics Anxiety of African-American Students" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1937.
This study examined whether or not there were any significant differences between the anxiety and achievement levels of African-American students enrolled in College Algebra courses taught using traditional instruction methods and those taught using experiential learning, as used in The Algebra Project curriculum. The classes were taught for the same amount of time for one semester, using the two curricular methods, and student anxiety was measured prior to the course and immediately following the implementation of an experiential learning module. Additionally, student achievement on selected questions focusing on the functions unit from the midterm exam were collected and analyzed to determine any differences in achievement based upon gender and teaching method. This quantitative study utilized a quasi-experimental nonequivalent control-group design. A sample of 102 African-American students, 41 males and 61 females, from a medium-sized university in central Virginia was used, with 30 students in the experiential learning group and 72 in the traditional instruction group. Student anxiety was measured using the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Anxiety Scale-Revised. A preliminary analysis of covariance was conducted to investigate differences in the anxiety levels of the experiential learning and traditional instruction groups. Student achievement was measured using scores on selected questions focusing on the functions unit from the common midterm exam and was analyzed using an independent samples t-test and a two-way analysis of variance. The results showed that there was no significant difference in anxiety between the experiential learning and traditional instruction groups at the p < .05 level. Additionally, there was no significant difference in the achievement levels between the experiential learning and traditional instruction groups at the p < .05 level.