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The Study of Integrating Thinking Aloud Method with Formative Assessment for Enhancing Understanding of Mathematical Concepts for Junior High School Students
understand of mathematical concepts
Thinking Aloud Method
This study aimed at enhancing students’ understanding of mathematical concepts through using Thinking Aloud Method to conduct formative assessment instead of using traditional ways in junior high school. By conducting mixed-methods research, the study addressed three research objectives: (1) to explore how courses of Thinking Aloud Method with formative assessment are conducted and adjusted (2) to explore how Thinking Aloud Method with formative assessment influences students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and (3) to explore how Thinking Aloud Method with formative assessment influences Teacher Professional Development. The study is an action research of an actual classroom in the junior high school that the teacher-researcher is at. A total of 32 seventh graders were invited to participate in this study and they were divided into three groups by different proficiency levels which are high, intermediate and low. There are two phases of Thinking Aloud Method with formative assessment, which are Development and Enactment. The study focused on One-variable Linear Equation and Two-Dimensional Linear Systems of Equations. The teaching process contains concepts teaching, following by formative assessment, choice of participants, two-phase orally problem solution and feedback discussion. Through these steps, the facets of students’ understanding were broaden and at the same time students’ abilities of understanding concepts were enhanced. The data of the study were collected qualitatively and quantitatively. The findings of the study are discussed in three sections. Firstly, after decreasing the number of math problems and assessment frequency as well as grouping students, Thinking Aloud Method with formative assessment didn’t affect the original teaching method and process. Secondly, students in different levels behaved differently in facets of understanding mathematical concepts. Through orally math problem solution, students enhanced their abilities of Explanation, Application and Self-Knowledge. Meanwhile, feedback discussion helped students improve their Interpretation, Perspective and Empathy abilities. Lastly, the study enhanced teachers’ professional abilities of diagnosing students’ learning problems, applying assessments, and teaching abstract concepts. Additionally, the study positively changed teachers’ teaching attitudes to a more open, fair, caring and concerning status. Two suggestions for teachers and future research were provided. For teachers, they should create a safe environment for students, guide students to practice thinking aloud before conducting Thinking Aloud Method and cultivate students’ understanding of mathematical concepts from different facets based on students’ current learning stage and proficiency. For researchers, they can use Thinking Aloud Method with formative assessment in different subjects and different learning stages in the near future.
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