Document Type



Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education

Publication Date



This study investigated how middle grades students provided with free access to manipulative materials use these mathematical tools in classrooms where their teachers are identified as Control-Oriented and Autonomy-Oriented. Also of interest in this investigation was how Control-Oriented and Autonomy-Oriented teachers administered the free access treatment in their classrooms. A Pre -- Post -1 Post -2 design was used with two treatments. During Treatment 1, teachers used the manipulatives for mathematics instruction using the strategies learned in the summer professional development workshop. During Treatment 2, teachers provided students with free access to the manipulative materials. Results indicated teachers' control orientations--control versus autonomy--were significantly different. The study also reveals that when students are allowed some measure of control in the selection and use of manipulative materials given the time to overcome their initial apprehension, they will spontaneously and selectively use these materials effectively as appropriate mathematical tools to mediate learning. Contains 20 references.



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