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Theses Doctoral

Interaction between Instructional Practices, Faculty Beliefs and Developmental Mathematics Curriculum: A Community College Case Study

Milman, Yevgeniy

Quantitative literacy, or numeracy, has been discussed as an essential component of mathematics instruction. In recent years community colleges around the nation introduced a quantitative literacy alternative to the developmental algebra curriculum for students placed into remedial mathematics. The QL curriculum consists of problem situations that are meant to improve numeracy through a combination of collaborative work and a student-centered pedagogy. There is little research that investigates the enactment of that curriculum.
Research in K-12 indicates that teachers’ beliefs influence the enactment of curriculum, but studies that connect instructional practices and faculty beliefs are scarce. This study employs a multiple qualitative case study approach to investigate the alignment between four community college instructors’ beliefs about teaching, learning, the nature of mathematics, and curriculum on their enacted practices in two different developmental mathematics courses at a large urban community college (UCC). One is a standard developmental algebra curriculum and the other curriculum is based on quantitative literacy.
Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and field notes. The results indicate an alignment between the professed beliefs and enacted practices for all but one instructor in this study. The findings imply that curriculum plays a significant role when its intended design correlates with instructors’ belief systems. The study also discusses the differences in instructional practices across the quantitative literacy and elementary algebra curricula taught by the instructors in this study.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics Education
Thesis Advisors
Karp, Alexander P.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 3, 2016