GROWTH MINDSET IN MATHEMATICS (II) - Developmental Mathematics

Drs. Benken and Li, along with Jorge Ramirez and Scott Wetendorf, conducted a study concerning students taking developmental mathematics courses in a large
public comprehensive university setting. Their
findings suggest a need for

“re-evaluation
of developmental mathematics courses to include student outcomes that focus on
attitudes about mathematics in addition to content and skills.”

They note
that

"math anxiety taxes and competes
with resources that are normally used for working memory,"

thus impeding
development of a positive mathematical identity. Carnegie Foundation estimates that 60 percent of the nation’s 13 million
community college students are unprepared for college-level courses and must
enroll in at least one developmental course (see the article Pathways to Improvement). Currently
27% of incoming California State University students arrive unprepared for
college-level mathematics, as noted in the recent CSU Academic Senate Quantitative Reasoning Task Force Report. These staggering numbers illustrate a broader problem
of effectiveness of mathematics education in the United States (see the Slate Article, What's Wrong with Math Education in the US). According to the most recent results of the Program
for International Student Assessment (PISA), the U.S. 15-year old students
place 35^{th} out of 64 tested countries in mathematics proficiency.
The Carnegie Foundation programs utilize the growth
mindset principles specifically to developmental mathematics in a framework
called Productive Persistence.
There are several excellent resources on their website, for example:

Pathways to Improvement: Using
Psychological Strategies to Help College Students Master Developmental Math by Elene Silva and Taylor White,and

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