When asked about what they think is the strength of the method they practice, the Pask teacher said that the Conversation theory helps his students become more self-confident. As students become more and more accustomed in speaking in front of class, their self-confidence increases. Discussing solutions with their fellow classmates give them more insight as to what solution they ought to utilize. Moreover, the students get immediate feedback if their solutions were correct or incorrect.
Not only they knew that their answers were incorrect, they also immediately know why their answers were incorrect. However, the Pask teacher also stresses the weaknesses of the method. Because there is no specific procedure or manner in which the students must write their solution, students wrote their solutions in their own way and the teacher was left to figure out if the solutions were indeed correct. On the other hand, the Landa teacher says that the strengths of the Algo-Heuristic method include the students learning to solve systematically.
The teacher can easily check if the students’ answers were correct or incorrect. However, the Landa teacher says that, although the students know how to systematically solve the problem when instructed, they have a hard time answering the examinations when they are not told what specific method to use. In short, the students do not really understand the concept. They simply know the procedure. So when more complex problems arise, the students have difficulty answering them.
Observing the average score of the students in their pre-assessment examination, we can conclude that, although students are not highly proficient in English, they familiar with the language enough to understand it. For this reason, however, we cannot discuss the lessons in pure English. Thus, the lessons were discussed in both the English language and the native language of the students. The average score of the students in their mathematics pre-assessment examination show that students are not highly skilled in mathematics.
However, they are already familiar with the lessons. Also, majority of the students are highly skilled in mathematics. The average of score in all three examinations (addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and final examination) of the Pask students are greater than that of the Landa students. Also, the Pask class always have a higher percentage of perfect scorers than Landa class and the Landa class have lower scores than the Pask class. Thus, we can say that Pask’s conversation Theory is a better approach than Landa’s Algo-Heuristic Theory.
This is so because students were able to share what they know with other students and immediately get feedback if their answers were wrong (from the other more skilled students). Moreover, having conversations with other students and later on discussing their solutions in front of the class helps students have better self-confidence which is our aim — to find a method which not only teaches students understand mathematics but to help them have better self-confidence and esteem as well. However, we cannot entirely say that Landa’s theory does not help students understand mathematics.
Noting the computed t-value difference of all the average scores, it is clear that the significance is not high enough. Moreover, comparing the students’ (Pask and Landa) socres in the pre-assessment examination, it is clearly demonstrated that all the students made progress in their mathematics understanding. Landa’s theory helps students become systematic while following the procedures instructed by the teacher. Thus, if the situation was to choose between the two methods, Pask’s conversation helps in making the student understand and be more confident in mathematics better.
However, it may be more successful if both practices were used. Limitations of the Study The study only investigated one specific area of mathematics — problem solving. Thus, we cannot generalize the conclusion by saying that Pask’s conversation applies in teaching all areas of mathematics. There may be a different outcome if another specific subject area is examined such as proving theorems. Also, only first grade students were investigated. Higher level students may learn differently from each method. Limitation of the study also includes how the teachers understand and approach each educational practice we studied.
Each teacher may understand an educational practice differently from the others. Also, each student has different learning skill. So it is also difficult to generalize in this area. Moreover, only two educational theory were employed. There are many other educational theories that must be investigated with regards to its effectiveness. Thus, the author recommends to employ the study to other areas of mathematics such as geometry and algebra. Higher level students must also be investigated. Other race such as Asian (Vietnamese, Korean, or Japanese) must also be investigated because different races have different learning skills.