Factors affecting achievement in the first course in calculus at the high school level

Bonnie Lu Peterson, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Two hundred one students in twelve public high schools in Middle Tennessee were used as subjects to determine which factors were significant predictors of success in the first course in high school calculus. The dependent variable was the score on the Advanced Placement Calculus Examination. Twenty academic and biographical independent variables were considered. A regression model was developed using the stepwise, forward, and backward procedures. All three procedures arrived at the same regression equation. The best combination of predictors consisted of the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test score in Mathematics, the second semester grade in Advanced Mathematics, the high school class rank, the first semester grade in Calculus, the Scholastic Aptitude Test verbal score, the second semester grade in Algebra I, the second semester grade in Geometry, the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test selection index, and the second semester grade in Calculus. The R value for this regression equation was.82642.^ Other regression equations for various categories by gender and gifted classification were developed using the stepwise procedure. The stepwise procedure was also used to develop two regression equations that can be used to predict success on the Advanced Placement Calculus Examination prior to the study of calculus.^ A two-way analysis of variance and a two-way analysis of covariance were also executed using the Advanced Placement Calculus Examination score as the dependent variable with gender and gifted classification as the independent variables. The two-way analysis of variance revealed that gifted students score significantly higher on the Advanced Placement Calculus Examination compared to students who are not classified as gifted. There was not found to be a significant gender difference. The two-way analysis of covariance did reveal a significant interaction between gender and gifted classification. From these results it was concluded that significant predictors can be used to assist in the prediction of achievement in the first course in high school calculus. ^

Subject Area

Education, Mathematics|Education, Secondary

Recommended Citation

Bonnie Lu Peterson, "Factors affecting achievement in the first course in calculus at the high school level" (1989). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9017233.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9017233

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