Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Arthur Ellis, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Rick Eigenbrood, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lisa Bjork, Ed.D.

Keywords

metacognition

Abstract

Over the last decade alternative assessment strategies have become an important part of the debate regarding the reform and restructuring of American education. The purpose of assessment should be to improve student learning, which means it should be integral to the teaching and learning process. For this to occur, a seamlessness needs to exist between teaching, learning, and assessment through which students are empowered to take increased responsibility for their learning. Reflective assessment grows out of strong theoretical roots including ancient Greek thought, the philosophy of John Dewey, and cognitive constructivist learning theories. Reflective assessment is a formative process through which students can experience assessment as a part of learning, rather than as a separate evaluative process.

This study was designed to investigate the effect of a metacognitive strategy on the mathematics achievement of fifth and sixth grade students. This was an experimental study that employed a posttest-only control group design. Students were randomly assigned to three treatment groups, two of which received identical mathematics curriculum, except for a reflective intervention with one group. It was the reflective assessment intervention that served as the independent variable in the study. The third group served as the control group, and received instruction in an alternate mathematics curriculum.

An instrument was developed that was aligned with the mathematics lessons that were taught to the two experimental groups. This measure served as the dependent variable in the study. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the demographic nature of the sample. Analysis of variance and nonparametric procedures were used to analyze the data and to make inferences from it. These inferential statistics were also used to analyze the results of a retention test that was administered six weeks following the end of the study. A performance test was also administered at the end of the study to measure practical application of the concepts taught in the mathematics lessons.

The data gathered revealed a statistically significant difference between the achievement of students who practiced the reflective strategy and the achievement of students in both the comparison and control groups. Students who practiced the reflective strategy also scored significantly higher on the retention test, which was areadministration of the posttest. On the performance assessment, which was a subjective measure, students in the reflective strategy group were more successful applying the concepts taught in the mathematics lessons than were students in the other two groups.

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