Developing Learning Activity Based on the Learning Cycle Approach to Promote Students’ Understanding of Square Root

By Shahana Sheikh, Patcharin Panjaburee, Parames Laosinchai and Niwat Srisawasdi.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Most countries are concerned about mathematics education for students do not perform well in this subject, especially on the topic of square root, owing to the lack of motivation in traditional learning activities. In such learning activities, teachers describe the calculation of square roots of numbers using the long division procedure step-by-step, while students try to follow that procedure without understanding the reason behind it, which results in poor performance. Therefore, to promote secondary students’ understanding on square roots of numbers, this study developed square root learning activities based on the learning cycle approach. The students started by exploring the relationship between that number and its square, and were asked to predict and verify the relationship using the concept of algebra. Next, the concept of the square root of a number was explained, and the comparison between using algebra and using the long division procedure for calculating the square root of a number was discussed. Finally, the students applied algebra, along with the long division procedure, to solve their own tasks. Thirty-eight seventh grade secondary-school students were recruited to participate in this study. The research design was quasi-experimental design. By analyzing the data from conceptual pre- and post-tests, the students who participated in the developed learning unit could improve their learning achievement on the topic. Moreover, the results from a questionnaire showed that they were satisfied with the developed learning activities, and responded that the developed learning unit helped them understand the procedure of finding the square root of numbers.

Keywords: Square Root, Square, Learning Cycle, Learning Activity, Mathematics

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.71-81. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 217.640KB).

Shahana Sheikh

Ph.D Candidate, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand

I am a student in the Institute for Innovative Learning in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education at Mahidol University. I have a Bachelor’s degree in pure mathematics, education major-mathematics, and physics; and a Master’s degree in pure mathematics, and science and technology education. I am working as a instructor of secondary mathematics and science education in the Institute of Educational Development at BRAC University.

Dr. Patcharin Panjaburee

Lecturer, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Patcharin Panjaburee is a lecturer in Science and Technology Education Program in the Institute for Innovative Learning at Mahidol University. She is interested in computer-assisted testing, expert systems, knowledge engineering, technology enhanced learning.

Parames Laosinchai

Lecturer, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Parames Laosinchai is lecturer in Science and Technology Education Progame at the Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Thailand. He is interested in all aspects of mathematics.

Dr. Niwat Srisawasdi

Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University, Maung, Khon Kaen, Thailand

I am a lecturer in the Science Education Program, Division of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, Faculty of Education at Khon Kaen University. I have a Bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a focus in physics and mathematics, a Master’s degree in science education, and Doctoral's degree in science and technology education.