Sunday, October 30, 2016

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 35th 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:
You can also watch an excellent lecture on productive persistence by Dr. Rachel Beattie
Finally, please explore an excellent website With Math I Can. Watch this emotional video describing importance of students’ mindset in mathematics
and sign this pledge to help every student succeed in math.

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