these tests, said Bragg, and about alternative educational approaches that could reduce the number of students needing developmental mathematics.

MATHEMATICS REFORM

The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) has made an extended commitment to reform in mathematics education. The AMATYC Crossroads in Mathematics Program2 led to follow-up programs called Beyond Crossroads3 and College Renewal Across the First Two Years, under the aegis of the Mathematical Association of America,4 which have tackled the implementation challenges inherent in reform. In addition, work by Lynn Steen, Uri Treisman, and others have contributed to careful thinking about what and how mathematics is taught, Bragg said (references are in Appendix C).

SPEAKER AND PARTICIPANT SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE ACTION

Bragg made four suggestions for future action on the basis of her observations.

First, reform of the mathematics curriculum needs to encompass the entire educational system. Without a strategic, collaborative endeavor, it will be difficult for two-year colleges, caught as they are between K-12 education and universities, to implement and sustain reform, except in isolated ways. Today, reform at different levels is largely separate, Bragg said; it needs to be combined and integrated.

Second, much more research is needed on teaching and learning in two-year college mathematics, especially in college-level mathematics. Numerous pedagogical strategies are emerging that have promise to change the way two-year college mathematics is taught, said Bragg, but today lecture-led, teacher-centered instruction predominates.

Third, the characteristics, experiences, and aspirations of students who enroll in two-year college mathematics need to be investigated in greater depth. More research is needed to understand how students develop the “habits of the mathematical mind” that are required to be successful in all STEM fields.

Finally, practitioners need to be engaged in research on mathematics education to facilitate adoption and scale-up. Two-year faculty would

image

2Additional information is available at http://www.amatyc.org/Crossroads/CrsrdsXS.pdf.

3Additional information is available at http://beyondcrossroads.amatyc.org/.

4Additional information is available at http://www.maa.org/cupm/crafty/.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement