Date of Conferral

1-1-2010

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Judith Orth

Abstract

Research indicates that many students have difficulty with mathematics, which can be attributed to many factors including math anxiety. Students who experience math anxiety have poor attitudes towards mathematics and perform below grade level based on class and statewide assessments. The purpose of this quasi-experimental quantitative study was to investigate the effectiveness of cooperative groups on the math anxiety levels of Grade 5 male and female students. The theoretical foundation of the study included Vygotsky's social learning and Piaget's concept of knowledge. Thirty-two students from 2 Grade 5 classrooms were administered the pre and post MASC inventory. A repeated-measure ANOVA was used to compare the overall mean difference for each group. Key results revealed that students in the treatment group (cooperative grouping) had less math anxiety after 9 weeks than students involved in the control group (noncooperative grouping). Females in the treatment group had lower math anxiety scores than the females in the control group, while males in the treatment group showed no change in math anxiety levels when compared to males in the control group. A conclusion from this study suggests that cooperative grouping, especially for females, may have a positive impact on students' attitudes and overall mathematics performance. It is recommended that administrators schedule professional development on cooperative grouping to implement successful cooperative learning in the classroom. Positive social change could be realized by teachers incorporating strategies in lessons that promote a positive learning environment as well as support learning and academic achievement.