Date Approved

5-13-2016

Embargo Period

5-16-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kowalsky, Michelle

Second Advisor

Caldwell, Janet

Third Advisor

Lacke, Christopher

Subject(s)

Mathematics--Remedial teaching; Effective teaching

Disciplines

Higher Education | Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to identify strategies used by effective instructors of developmental mathematics, and to discover the perceptions developmental mathematics students have about these strategies. While there are research projects focusing solely on developmental mathematics achievement, this study fills a need by incorporating views of teaching effectiveness from multiple viewpoints.

In this research project, college-level instructors of developmental mathematics students were recorded on video before, during, and after the teaching of an algebraic concept. Students were given a pre-lesson survey and post-lesson survey to see if there were gains in their learning. Students completed a survey about their perceptions of effective teaching, and some participated in an extended phone interview after the lesson. Instructors were also asked for their opinions about the effectiveness of the teaching methods and instructional strategies they chose.

The results of the study show that instructors primarily used direct instruction, avoided the use of group work, and did not use games or manipulatives. One of the most important discoveries was that students overwhelmingly felt that the lessons went well, and they appreciated multiple ways to solve problems. Student gains from pre-lesson survey to post-lesson survey confirm that they are learning well via these methods. Instructors and students both felt that there was not enough in-class time for instruction or practice of problems. The information gleaned from this study can be used to help to improve instruction, to inform programs and policy, and to encourage active review of instructional methods.

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