The problem investigated was the need for effective and efficient learning for middle school science students to meet expectations set in Goals 2000. The use of the 4MAT Instructional Method was investigated as a possible method for attainment of current science standards. The study included one middle school science instructor's classes with 89 participating students. Measurements were taken and comparisons drawn using three assessment methods to determine if improved academic achievement and attitude scores resulted. Data analysis yielded no significant conclusion in either academic achievement or attitude improvement; however, observations of the researcher indicated potential usefulness of the 4MAT approach. The t-value calculated in the assessment methods was insufficient with a .05 probability of error present in the findings. The limitations of the study skewed the results and outweighed the possible observational insight.
This research grew from concerns relative to the mathematical performance of Spanish-speaking limited English proficient (LEP) public school students. This investigation studied the effects of the sheltered mathematics class on eighth-grade Spanish-speaking LEP students with regard to mathematical achievement, attitudes toward mathematics, the dropout rate, and the number of math credits earned in high school. The enrollment of a sheltered mathematics class was limited to LEP students. The purpose was to compare Spanish-speaking LEP students enrolled in sheltered mathematics classes with Spanish-speaking LEP students enrolled in regular mathematics classes. The research hypotheses were that achievement, mathematical attitudes, the dropout rate, and high school math credits earned would favor enrollment in sheltered mathematics classes. The data for achievement, dropout information, and mathematics course work completed were drawn from student records in the school district data bank. A mathematics attitude survey was given to a sample from the 1995-96 eighth-grade advanced level Spanish-speaking LEP students. The research hypotheses were not accepted. All of the populations did show an academic deficit. However, they did have more positive attitudes than negative attitudes toward mathematics. To improve achievement, staying in school, and a higher rate of inclusion in mathematics related careers the following recommendations were made: 1. Research should be done to write standardized mathematics tests that would be accurate and fair for Spanish-speaking LEP students. 2. Further research should be done into teaching strategies and classroom management particularly suited to Spanish-speaking LEP students. 3. Attitude measures should be used as pretest and posttest to study the effect of sheltered mathematics classes on LEP students in relation to attitudes toward mathematics and motivation to continue schooling. 4. Recruit and train qualified mathematics teachers to teach English as a second language (ESL) mathematics.