Date of Graduation

Spring 2012


Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education in Mathematics



Committee Chair

Linda Plymate


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

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education


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.


© Brian Benjamin Barnhouse

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