#### Thesis Title

A Study of Mathematical Reasoning and Sense-Making in a General Education Mathematics Course

#### Date of Graduation

Spring 2012

#### Degree

Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education in Mathematics

#### Department

Mathematics

#### Committee Chair

Linda Plymate

#### Keywords

mathematical understanding, mathematical reasoning, mathematics, sense making, university freshmen, general education, algebra

#### Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education

#### Abstract

This study investigates the effect of a student's mathematical sense-making ability on his/her performance in mathematics. Students answered a short survey questioning their understanding of a mathematical topic on a daily quiz. These topics were separated into two categories: sense-making and non sense-making/rote learning. The researcher used the survey along with observations throughout instructional and tutoring sessions and the Chi-Square analysis test of independence to see if there was an association between a student's mathematical sense-making ability and their performance in the course. The students who demonstrated that they had a higher mathematical sense-making performed better in the course. These results can be used to help teachers realize that they need to have a curriculum and instructional techniques that require their students to use mathematical sense-making and reasoning. This study shows that mathematical sense-making and performance in a mathematics course are associated with each other.

#### Copyright

© Brian Benjamin Barnhouse

#### Recommended Citation

Barnhouse, Brian Benjamin, "A Study of Mathematical Reasoning and Sense-Making in a General Education Mathematics Course" (2012). *MSU Graduate Theses*. 1538.

http://bearworks.missouristate.edu/theses/1538