Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Education

Major

Adolescent to Young Adult - Integrated Mathematics

Research Sponsor

Karen Plaster

First Reader

Dr. Wondimu Ahmed

Second Reader

Dr. Linda Saliga

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to dissect why it is important to teach mathematics to every student, even if the student does not plan on pursuing mathematics in his or her career. This paper will describe and test various reasons why mathematics is taught to every student but it will focus on math as a way to help develop and improve problem-solving and logical reasoning skills. An experiment was conducted on a random sample of fourteen University of Akron students who were measured on their problem-solving abilities and critical thinking through playing two games. These students were then compared to the other participants with regard to the level of math courses they have taken and how well they did on the games. The results show that students who have taken high level math courses, on average, were more successful (won more with less turns) in both games. This draws a correlation between taking math courses and an increase in a student’s critical thinking and logical reasoning skills, skills that are important in a wide variety of careers and circumstances.

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