Does conceptual learning improve a student’s level of confidence in math?

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Skibba, Karla

Skibba,Karla (2008) . Does conceptual learning improve a student’s level of confidence in math? . In Proceedings: 4th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p.99-100


There is a need for students to increase their understanding and application of mathematical skills to compete in today’s international economy. Encouraging students to think aloud and share the way they approach mathematical problems with each other may be especially important in helping students feel confident and have a positive attitude within the classroom. I conducted a confidence survey with fourth-grade math students to identify individuals who felt they struggled with understanding math. I focused on those students within my instruction over a two-week period and then had those specific students re-evaluate their confidence levels with the same confidence survey. My results were inconclusive showing that students who felt frustrated with math were just as successful in applying their understanding of math skills as their confident peers. The results of my study support the research today detailing concern that students do not have a deep understanding of how mathematical concepts are interconnected. Therefore, they feel answers are always right or wrong, but cannot support why that answer is correct.

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Paper presented to the 4th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, April 25, 2008.
Research completed at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education