Title

Partitioning: A grounded theory investigation of instructor mathematics philosophy shaping community college mathematics courses

Publication Date

2008

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Rose, Amy D.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education

LCSH

Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)||Universities and colleges--Curricula||Education, Higher--Curricula

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the ways instructors’ subject matter beliefs shape their educational practice in a community college environment. Adults are enrolling in community college mathematics courses in response to the changing demands of the workplace and to concerns coming with the emerging knowledge economy. Community colleges are charged with creating the access and success to these academic pathways needed by adults. The multiple missions assigned to the community college system create a complex teaching environment for its faculty. Instructors are expected to shape courses to service educational programs with different and often conflicting components including preparation for college-level work, acquiring the necessary skills for a career, and preparation for changing lifelong learning mathematics needs. To understand this process, data was collected and analyzed from instructors’ philosophical definitions of mathematics and observations of teaching episodes using a constructivist grounded theory research design. Findings show instructor beliefs separate mathematics discourses into subcultures of workplace, applied and academic mathematics communities with a perceived need for future mathematics assigned to each partition. Teaching partitioned mathematics subcultures does not capture the complexity of mathematics for all learners. When the mathematics knowledge between these subcultures is disjoint, the knowledge incommensurability can become a barrier for workers’ future mathematical learning when the needs of a knowledge-based society change.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages 216-236)

Extent

vii, 270 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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