Date of Graduation

1983

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of high school calculus on achievement in college calculus for first-year students. The sample consisted of all first-time Calculus I students who were graduates of American high schools and who were enrolled at West Virginia Institute of Technology in Montgomery, West Virginia. The sample numbered 69 and was composed of four different sections of Calculus I. Achievement was divided into two areas: manipulative skills and problem-solving skills. Measures on these areas were taken from four investigator-devised examinations which were designed so that scores in the two areas could be obtained. A final achievement score was defined as the average of these four scores plus twice the score on a comprehensive final examination, also instructor-devised. Students were ranked according to their mathematics scores on the ACT test and were placed into upper, middle and lower ability groups. The students were also grouped according to the length of time they studied calculus at the high school level. The evaluation of the hypotheses of the study was accomplished by techniques of analysis of variance, which were applied after determination of significant betas from multiple regressions were made. There were no significant differences between those who studied calculus for two semesters in high school and those who had no high school calculus course. There were significant differences between those who studied calculus for one semester at the high school level and those who had no high school calculus course. There were no significant differences in performance among ability levels. The results were consistent over the course of the semester. The conclusions drawn based upon the results of the data gathered are: The high school calculus course which is one semester in length should be eliminated from the curriculum. The continuation of calculus as an appropriate high school course offering should be examined closely. The following recommendations for further study are made based on the results of the study: Replication is encouraged since this is the first large-scale, multiple-section study to be done. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI.

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