The effects of integrated mathematics and children's literature instruction on mathematics achievement and mathematics anxiety by gender
The purpose of this study, to investigate the impact of integrated mathematics and children's literature instruction in comparison to students who received direct mathematics instruction, led to the formation of the following question: In what ways does the integration of mathematics and children's literature curricula impact students' mathematics achievement and mathematics anxiety across gender compared to direct instruction mathematics curricula? This study was investigated using a mixed method design in which quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. A three-way (group by gender by time) repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant time main effect for the Saxon achievement test with the control group, the experimental group, and the gender groups increasing their achievement scores from the pre-test to the post-test. No other main or interaction effects were statistically significant. In particular, there was no statistically significant gender or group by gender effects. A three-way (group by gender by time) repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant difference for the time by group interaction. No statistically significant differences were found for any other main effect or interaction effect. Examination of the time by group interaction indicated initial group differences in anxiety. To control for initial differences, a one-way analysis of covariance was used with the pre-test anxiety rating used as the covariate. Since no gender effects were found, gender was not included in the subsequent analysis. The results of the ANCOVA determined that there were no statistically significant mean anxiety level differences between the groups. The qualitative data collected from student interviews, student journals, and researcher observations were triangulated to identify a grounded theory. The central idea found in this grounded theory was that mathematics was the students' favorite subject. In addition, the students who participated in the integrated mathematics and children's literature classroom indicated that they enjoyed the use of the books to teach mathematical concepts. This study found that mathematics was an enjoyable subject to the students, the students increased their knowledge and understanding of the subject, the students decreased their anxiety towards the subject, and their self-esteem increased.