IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM: A QUANTITATIVE EXAMINATION OF CULTURALLY RELEVANT WORD PROBLEMS IN FOURTH GRADE MATHEMATICS
This quasi-experiment using a pretest/posttest with control design with randomization investigated the effects of using culturally relevant word problems in fourth grade mathematics. Study participants were African American students who attended an elementary public school in a large urban Georgia school district. The student population consisted of 48% males and 52% girls, where 85% of the students participated in the free/reduced meal program. Through randomization, 42 students comprised the control group and 61 students comprised the experimental group. Initial pretest/posttest data results yielded a left range restriction and, as a result, the Star 360 assessment data were used for the multiple regression analysis. After six weeks of using culturally relevant word problems, the analysis indicated no statistically significant difference (p = .10; B = -.20) with the treatment group. The examination of two additional variables, gender and participation in the free/reduced meal program, revealed a positive statistically significant difference (p = .01; B = .31) for the females in the experimental group and a negative statistically significant difference (p = .03; B = -.36) for all of the participants in the free/reduced meal program. Despite the study’s overall large effect size (R² =. 66), various limitations warrant additional research on the topic of culturally relevant word problems in mathematics.
Twyman, Cheryl Petrice