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The effects of multiple representations-based instruction on seventh grade students' algebra performance, attitude towards mathematics, and representation preference.

Çıkla Akkuş, Oylum
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of multiple representations-based instruction on seventh grade students̕ algebra performance, attitudes toward mathematics, and representation preference compared to the conventional teaching. Moreover, it was aimed to find out how students use multiple representations in algebraic situations and the reasons of preferring certain modes of representations. The study was conducted in four seventh grade classes from two public schools in Ankara in the 2003-2004 academic year, lasting eight weeks. For assessing algebra performance, three instruments called algebra achievement test, translations among representations skill test, and Chelsea diagnostic algebra test were used. To assess students̕ attitudes towards mathematics, mathematics attitude scale, to determine students̕ representation preferences before and after the treatment representation preference inventory were administered. Furthermore, as qualitative data, interview task protocol was prepared and interviews were carried out with the students from experimental and control classes. The quantitative analyses were conducted by using multivariate covariance analyses. The results revealed that multiple representations-based instruction had a significant effect on students̕ algebra performance compared to the conventional teaching. There was no significant difference between the experimental and control groups in terms of their attitudes towards mathematics. The chi square analyses revealed that treatment made a significant contribution to the students̕ representation preferences. The results of the interviews indicated that the experimental group students used variety of representations for algebra problems and were capable of using the most appropriate one for the given algebra problems.