Thesis

The effects of looping on high school mathematic achievement

This study explores the idea of looping in high school math classes as a means to improve the students' passing rates. This study attempts to answer the following questions: Will students who loop with their math teacher for Algebra I and Geometry have more success than students who have different teachers for these courses? How do students feel about looping, and what do they see as the positive and negative aspects of looping? This study had a mixed-method research design. The quantitative portion of the study compared the percentages of looping and nonlooping students who passed the first semester of Geometry. The results showed that overall 80% of the looping students earned a passing grade of "C" or better, compared with only 25% of the non-looping students. The difference between the percentages of looping and non-looping students who passed was even greater for females and Latino students. The qualitative portion of the study was based on 13 student interviews. All students were in favor of looping with their math teacher. The students identified familiarity, feeling comfortable, and stronger relationships as the main benefits of looping. The possibility of a mismatch was the only negative aspect of looping mentioned. This study has shown that looping is in fact a way to increase high school students' success in mathematics. KEYWORDS: looping, high school, mathematics

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