Award Date

May 2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Jeffrey Shih

Second Committee Member

Travis Olson

Third Committee Member

Linda F. Quinn

Fourth Committee Member

Dieudonne D. Phanord

Fifth Committee Member

Carryn Warren

Number of Pages

173

Abstract

Informed by Gagne's belief in the necessity of prerequisite knowledge for new learning, and Bruner's Spiral Curriculum Theory, the objective of this case study was to explore the postsecondary pathway from remedial mathematics, through one gateway mathematics course, and into the quantitative literacy requirements of various non-STEM programs of study. Particular attention was directed towards analyses of the vertical alignment of course content between: (1) the two consecutive remedial mathematics courses (Beginning Algebra and Intermediate Algebra), (2) the two remedial courses and the gateway course (Fundamentals of College Mathematics), and (3) the gateway course and the quantitative literacy needs of the higher-level coursework in the programs of study. A thorough examination of artifacts and feedback from participants were employed to determine the contents of and prerequisite skills for the mathematics courses. Survey results and extant literature were analyzed to determine the quantitative literacy requirements for later coursework within non-STEM programs of study. Comparison matrices were then utilized to explore the extent of vertical alignment by analyzing overlaps in content from course to course, and by matching prerequisites to course contents throughout the pathway. Evidence of gaps in vertical alignment was discovered, leading to recommendations for changes in course content necessary to fill those gaps.

Keywords

non-STEM college mathematics; vertical alignment

Disciplines

Science and Mathematics Education

Language

English


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