Announcement of Ph.D. Proposal Defense Moosa Ali Abdullah Al Hadi: “Effects of Chunking Intervention on Enhancing Geometry Performance in High School Students with Mathematics Learning Difficulties”

10:00 am - 11:30 am

Geometry education is an important aspect of STEM education and career development, but it is often overlooked in K-12 education in the United States. Although there is some research on teaching geometry to students with learning difficulties at the elementary level, there is a lack of research on teaching advanced geometry skills at high school levels. Chunking is a strategy that can help reduce the cognitive load demanded in the processing of information, and it has been applied as a testing accommodation for high school students with math learning difficulties in geometry assessments. This study aims to expand upon the existing literature by examining the effect of chunking as an intervention, rather than just a testing accommodation, on the geometry performance of high school students with math learning difficulties.

The study will use a multiple probe design across participants and address the following research questions: (a) To what extent will the chunking intervention improve the geometry performance of high school students with math learning difficulties as measured by a proximal measure (i.e., geometry problem solving probes related to lines and angles)? (b) To what extent will the effects of chunking intervention maintain two weeks after the conclusion of the intervention as measured by the proximal measure? (c) To what extent will the students be able to generalize their geometry knowledge to distal measures, such as geometry proof related to lines and angles, sample items from the NJSLA high school test preparation for geometry, and the KeyMath-3 geometry subtest? (d) What are the perspectives of the high school students with mathematics learning difficulties about the chunking intervention?

Three to five high school students with difficulties in learning geometry will participate in this study during an after-school intervention program at a high school in New Jersey. The intervention will be implemented by the interventionist and 2-3 trained undergraduate research assistants, and will consist of 12 sessions, divided into four units: (a) one unit on Angles and related properties, (b) two units on lines (parallel lines and perpendicular lines) and related theorems and properties, and (c) both angles and lines. Each unit will be delivered over 3-5 sessions, with one unit taught per week. The entire intervention, including the baseline and posttest phases, will last 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the participants’ sequence of introduction into the intervention. The treatment’s fidelity will be monitored and reported, and students’ perspectives on the chunking intervention will be evaluated through a social validity measure at the conclusion of the intervention. The findings of the analyses will be reported in the results section. I will then discuss the limitations, contributions to the literature, implications for practice, and future research in teaching geometry.

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