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postgraduate thesis: Factors that influence motivation, achievement and group problem solving outcome in mathematics of Chinese eighth graders in a cooperative learning setting

TitleFactors that influence motivation, achievement and group problem solving outcome in mathematics of Chinese eighth graders in a cooperative learning setting
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Pei, C. [裴昌根]. (2015). Factors that influence motivation, achievement and group problem solving outcome in mathematics of Chinese eighth graders in a cooperative learning setting. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5610967
AbstractResearch has shown that cooperative learning positively affects students‘ achievements and motivation in mathematics and other disciplines. However, much remains unknown about how these effects are achieved. Not only cognitive factors but also social factors of cooperative learning can contribute to these effects (S. Sharan & Shaulov, 1990). This study focuses on six interpersonal variables relevant to group work (i.e., psychological safety, value diversity, dependence of the self, dependence of the peer, trust in the self, and trust in the peer) and explores: (1) their relationships with students‘ mathematics motivation; and, (2) the mediating effect of students‘ mathematics motivation on the relationships between the six variables and students‘ mathematics achievement. The major form of group work used in this study is students‘ group mathematical problem solving. Given that limited research has explored the factors influencing group mathematical problem-solving outcome among students with considerable collective learning experience, this study also addresses this research gap. Ninety-four students in two eighth-grade classes taught by the same mathematics teacher in a school in Shenzhen, mainland China, participated in this study. A modified version of the Student Team-Achievement Division (Slavin, 1986) cooperative learning method was developed for the teacher to employ in classroom teaching for a six-week period. Instruments were administered to measure students’ mathematics achievement and motivation and the six interpersonal variables at the beginning and the end of the cooperative learning intervention. The mathematical problem-solving processes of three pairs of contrasting student groups were videotaped near the end of the intervention. Data from measuring instruments were analyzed using correlation, regression and mediation analysis; data from videotapes were analyzed through discourse analysis. The major findings are: (1) Most correlations between the interpersonal variables and post-motivation were near or at the medium level. When controlled for students‘ background variables, the unique variances in post-motivation that were explained by interpersonal variables as a whole, ranged from 10% to 21%, which is near or at the medium level. Specifically, psychological safety, value diversity, trust in the self and trust in the peer were identified as significant predictors of post-motivation. (2) Post-motivation exerted a mediating effect between interpersonal variables as a whole, and post-achievement. It was further found that intrinsic goal orientation played a mediating role in the relationships between psychological safety, value diversity, dependence of the peer and trust in the self, and post-achievement. Likewise, test anxiety mediated the relationship between psychological safety and post-achievement. (3) The results from the three pairs of contrasting groups suggest that successful group mathematical problem solving is more likely to occur under two circumstances – when group members‘ mutual engagement is well coordinated (e.g., attending to one another‘s ideas, monitoring understanding, and participating equally), and when students act appropriately to facilitate the generation of correct ideas (e.g., accurately evaluating new ideas, asking for and giving elaborated feedback, and behaving politely). The findings of this study make contributions to current research on cooperative learning in mathematics. The theoretical and practical contributions, limitations and future research directions of this study are discussed.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectMathematics - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Shenzhen Shi
Group work in education - China - Shenzhen Shi
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221162

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorPei, Changgen-
dc.contributor.author裴昌根-
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-04T23:11:51Z-
dc.date.available2015-11-04T23:11:51Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationPei, C. [裴昌根]. (2015). Factors that influence motivation, achievement and group problem solving outcome in mathematics of Chinese eighth graders in a cooperative learning setting. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5610967-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221162-
dc.description.abstractResearch has shown that cooperative learning positively affects students‘ achievements and motivation in mathematics and other disciplines. However, much remains unknown about how these effects are achieved. Not only cognitive factors but also social factors of cooperative learning can contribute to these effects (S. Sharan & Shaulov, 1990). This study focuses on six interpersonal variables relevant to group work (i.e., psychological safety, value diversity, dependence of the self, dependence of the peer, trust in the self, and trust in the peer) and explores: (1) their relationships with students‘ mathematics motivation; and, (2) the mediating effect of students‘ mathematics motivation on the relationships between the six variables and students‘ mathematics achievement. The major form of group work used in this study is students‘ group mathematical problem solving. Given that limited research has explored the factors influencing group mathematical problem-solving outcome among students with considerable collective learning experience, this study also addresses this research gap. Ninety-four students in two eighth-grade classes taught by the same mathematics teacher in a school in Shenzhen, mainland China, participated in this study. A modified version of the Student Team-Achievement Division (Slavin, 1986) cooperative learning method was developed for the teacher to employ in classroom teaching for a six-week period. Instruments were administered to measure students’ mathematics achievement and motivation and the six interpersonal variables at the beginning and the end of the cooperative learning intervention. The mathematical problem-solving processes of three pairs of contrasting student groups were videotaped near the end of the intervention. Data from measuring instruments were analyzed using correlation, regression and mediation analysis; data from videotapes were analyzed through discourse analysis. The major findings are: (1) Most correlations between the interpersonal variables and post-motivation were near or at the medium level. When controlled for students‘ background variables, the unique variances in post-motivation that were explained by interpersonal variables as a whole, ranged from 10% to 21%, which is near or at the medium level. Specifically, psychological safety, value diversity, trust in the self and trust in the peer were identified as significant predictors of post-motivation. (2) Post-motivation exerted a mediating effect between interpersonal variables as a whole, and post-achievement. It was further found that intrinsic goal orientation played a mediating role in the relationships between psychological safety, value diversity, dependence of the peer and trust in the self, and post-achievement. Likewise, test anxiety mediated the relationship between psychological safety and post-achievement. (3) The results from the three pairs of contrasting groups suggest that successful group mathematical problem solving is more likely to occur under two circumstances – when group members‘ mutual engagement is well coordinated (e.g., attending to one another‘s ideas, monitoring understanding, and participating equally), and when students act appropriately to facilitate the generation of correct ideas (e.g., accurately evaluating new ideas, asking for and giving elaborated feedback, and behaving politely). The findings of this study make contributions to current research on cooperative learning in mathematics. The theoretical and practical contributions, limitations and future research directions of this study are discussed.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshMathematics - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Shenzhen Shi-
dc.subject.lcshGroup work in education - China - Shenzhen Shi-
dc.titleFactors that influence motivation, achievement and group problem solving outcome in mathematics of Chinese eighth graders in a cooperative learning setting-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5610967-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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