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Name(s): Helen E. Burn, Ph.D. Institution: Highline Community College Country: USA Email: HYPERLINK "mailto:hburn@highline.edu" hburn@highline.edu URL: HYPERLINK "http://www.flightline.highline.edu/hburn" www.flightline.highline.edu/hburn
Title of proposal: The Influence of Disciplinary Norms and Departmental Culture in the Teaching of Mathematics for Work
Nature of proposal: Research study
One sentence summary: This multiple casestudy of mathematics faculty engaged in college algebra reform suggests the ways in which the disciplinary norms of mathematics and departmental culture exert influence and shape mathematics faculty reasoning about teaching mathematics for work.
Abstract:
This multiple case study primarily informs the question Who is or should be responsible for teaching mathematics for work? and secondarily the question: What mathematics should be taught in order to prepare individuals for work? Since the mid 1990s, members of the mathematics community, supported by professional associations, such the Mathematical Association of American, have galvanized efforts aimed at reforming college algebra. The reform proponents advocate, among other things, that the purpose of the course shift from preparing students for precalculus and calculus to providing students with a mathematical foundation that will prepare them in their future as workers (Blair, 2006; Cohen, 1995). The sense of urgency expressed in calls for reform is due to the large enrollments in the course and a belief that most students take college algebra as their final college mathematics course (Gordon, 2002). Further, the current social context that equates success in mathematics with the nations economic health and prosperity puts increasing pressure on faculty to respond to workforce needs (Brint, 2002). This research paper details the mathematics for work espoused in calls for reform of college algebra and then shifts to focus on the ways in which the influence of the disciplinary norms of mathematics and departmental culture constrained, enabled, or otherwise shaped faculty reasoning about the purpose of college algebra visvis teaching mathematics for work. This paper derives from my dissertation study completed in December of 2006 at the University of Michigans Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.
Blair, R. (2006). Beyond Crossroads: Implementing mathematics standards in the first two years of college. Memphis, TN: The American Mathematical Association of TwoYear Colleges.
Brint, S. (2002). The rise of the practical arts. In S. Brint (Ed.), The future of the city of intellect: The changing American university, pp. 231258. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Cohen, D. (1995). Crossroads in mathematics: Standards for introductory college mathematics before calculus. Memphis, TN: The American Mathematical Association of TwoYear Colleges.
Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics. (2004). Undergraduate programs and courses in the mathematical sciences: CUPM curriculum guide.
Gordon, S. (2002). Influencing the mathematics community. Retrieved September 20, 2005, from http://blue.butler.edu/~phenders/WP2002/Gordon.doc
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