The Relationship Between the Learning Styles of Students in Grades Five and Six and Their Held Misconceptions About Dividing Fractions Based on Kolb’s Model
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
As a school subject, mathematics has a remarkable influence on student’s performance in other subjects. Having deficiencies in mathematics is considered a critical problem for students. Students’ success or failure in mathematics at the school level has a direct impact on further education and choice of a career (OECD 2010). Fractions, in particular, is a difficult mathematical topic with students encountering difficulties in performing and comprehending operations that involve the use of fractions (Nunes & Bryant 2008). Several studies have found that students’ learning styles have an effect on students’ performance or academic achievement in mathematics in general and in fractions in particular (Rochford & Mangino 2006). Therefore, this study was conducted to examine if there is a relationship between two grade five and six students’ learning styles according to the Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory, and their misconceptions in dividing fractions. The study was conducted on a sample of 1864 students from grades five and six selected randomly from fifteen public schools in Abu Dhabi in the academic year 2011/2012. A quantitative approach and two data collection instruments (Kolb’s LSI and mathematics diagnostic test) were employed to gather data. The data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics specifically proportion tests, and the Chi- Square Independence Test. The results of this study revealed that the dominant learning style of both grades is convergent with 724 students (38.84%), 34.70% for grade five and 42.92% for grade six. The next dominant learning styles were assimilating with 23.35% and accommodating with 21.73% for grade five. While diverging and accommodating in grade six are the next dominant learning styles with 23.54% and 18.00% respectively. Moreover, the analysis of the Chi-Square independence test indicated that students’ learning styles varied from grade to grade. With respect to students’ misconceptions on dividing fractions, the results indicated that the two grades hold the same misconceptions. The first one is flipping the dividend with 31.81%. Coming in at the close second is the lack of fraction concepts with 28.96%, and finally multiplying without flipping with 28.70 %. The answer to the main question, which aimed to examine the relationship between students’ learning styles and their misconceptions in dividing fractions, is that the relationship is indeed statistically significant at .
Learning strategies -- Education (Elementary)., Kolb’s model, Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary).