The Effect of the Van Hiele Model Based Instruction on the Creative Thinking Levels of 6th Grade Primary School Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study is to determine the effect of the Van Hiele model based instruction process on the creative thinking levels of 6th grade primary school students. Pre testpost test matching control group quasi-experimental design was used in the study. Fifty five students enrolled in sixth grades during the 2005-2006 educational year formed the sample. The study was carried out with two groups. One of these groups was determined as the experimental group and the other was as the control group. While a teaching based on the Van Hiele model was carried out in the experimental group, a teaching with the traditional method was carried out in the control group. The instruction was carried out by the researchers in both groups. In the study, the Shapes Section of the Torrance Creative Thinking Test was administered in order to determine the creative thinking levels of students before and after the teaching. In order to determine whether there is a significant difference between the creative thinking levels of the experimental and control groups before and after the instruction, t- test was used. At the end of the study, although there is a significant difference between the creative thinking test, fluency, originality, the titles' being abstract, creative forces lists, and creativity pre test and post test scores of the students in the experimental group, a significant difference between the pre test and post scores of students in the control group related to the sub-dimensions of creativity thinking and total scores was not observed. When the creative thinking levels of the students after the instruction was examined, a significant difference was found in total post test scores related to fluency, originality, the titles' being abstract, creative forces lists and creativity in advantage of the experimental group.

Key Words

Geometry, Van Hiele Model, Creative Thinking.

Geometry is an important component of mathematics and is required for students to better understand some facts about the world they are living in. Geometrical thinking is related not only to mathematics courses but also to all courses; and it has an important role in the development of many cognitive characteristics of students. Geometry helps students gain basic skills such as analysis, comparison, and generalization and cognitive skills such as investigation, researching, criticizing, creative thinking, illustrating what they learn, being tidy, careful and patient, and self-expression (Baykul, 1999; Kiliç, 2003). Geometry is a natural field in which students can develop their implication and judgment skills proving geometrical theories. Moreover, as shapes and objects are available in the structure of geometry, geometry helps students better know the world they live in (Goos, & Spencer, 2003; Pesen, 2003).

In recent years, the changes in the field of mathematics, particularly in geometry, can be seen clearly. The changes of perspective in mathematics, and accordingly in geometry, and the innovations in these fields are based upon the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards. In composing the NCTM standards, which were first developed in 1989 and can be seen as the basis for geometry programs, the effect of various approaches and models was seen. In developing geometry field with the NCTM "the Van Hiele model" was taken as the basis (Choi-Koh, 1999; NCTM, 2000).

In the light of these innovations in the field of mathematics, in Turkey, mathematics course curriculum of primary school, 1st to 8th grades, was changed step by step with the project which was started by the Instructional Division of the National Ministry of Education in 2004. The mathematics curriculum of primary school 6th to 8th grades was divided into five learning sections (numbers, geometry, measurement, probability and statistics and algebra) and activities and acquisitions related to these learning fields. One of the learning fields in 6th grade mathematics curriculum is geometry (MillÎ Egitim Bakanligi [MEB], 2006). …