Career: Teaching Mathematics Well in Community Colleges: Understanding the Impact of Reform-Based Instructional Resources

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

This program of research seeks to study how standards recommendations regarding student-centered approaches to mathematics instruction can be actualized so that systematic investigations of its impact on students’ learning can be carried out. I describe mathematics teaching in one community college and investigate the conditions under which processes for altering planning, classroom interaction, and verification strategies can be implemented. Future studies will investigate the impact of those interventions on students’ learning and success in pre-college, non-developmental, mathematics courses.


Large community college in Michigan serving near 12,000 students; with about 75 90 mathematics faculty (15 full-time).

Research Design: 

The research design for this project is cross-sectional and comparative, and is designed to generate evidence that is descriptive (using observation), and associative/ correlational (through both analytic essay and interpretive commentary). This research includes three different interventions: different conditions for planning, classroom interaction, and verification strategies, as well as different conditions for each of the interventions (e.g., timing, who responds, which verification strategies are used), including not using the intervention.

This project collects original data using school records/policy documents, personal observation, and survey research including paper and pencil self-completion questionnaires, face-to-face structured interviewer-administered questionnaires, and face-to-face semi-structured/informal interviews. For information about instruments and measures used in this study see PALS (Patterns of Adaptive Learning Strategies; Midgley, C., Maehr, M. L., Hruda, L. Z., Anderman, E., & Others (2000). Manual for the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.). Plans for analysis will include constant comparative analysis of interview data, classroom interaction, and tasks, as well as statistical analyses of the PALS data.


To date this project has not generated any findings.