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

Primary Investigator(s): Vilma Mesa

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation

Amount: $698,161

Period: 2/6/2008 - 1/6/2013

This research program seeks to study how standards recommendations regarding a student-centered approach to mathematics instruction can be actualized so that systematic investigations of its impact on students’ learning can be carried out. Sensitizing studies in this project seek to understand the contexts of mathematics teaching at community colleges. Probing studies seek to test conditions under which teaching strategies designed to influence planning, classroom interaction, and verification practices affect instruction. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection, analysis, and interpretation, Mesa seeks to develop our understanding of artifacts in teaching, how planning is affected and how classroom interaction can be changed in undergraduate classrooms. The results highlight the critical conditions under which mathematics is delivered in community colleges and raise awareness of the need to support instructors as they strive to improve their practices.