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Title:Reaching students in a remedial college mathematics course: the roles of a teacher's care
Author(s):Rosas, Rosa
Director of Research:Lubienski, Sarah
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lubienski, Sarah
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Travers, Ken; Brown, David; Preseeni, Toni
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Secondary & Continuing Educ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
remedial mathematics
Abstract:Caring is an important topic in the K-12 classroom setting, and it relates to the academic achievement of at-risk students. However, the K-12 caring literature tends to focus on relational aspects and not on subject matter. Moreover, little attention has been given to the communication and expression of teacher care at the collegiate level in the context of remedial mathematics courses. In this study, an award-winning college instructor’s care for her students is examined in the context of a remedial mathematics course. Interviews with the teacher and her students, research journal entries, fieldnotes, and audio recordings of classroom instruction were used to document the expression and communication of the instructor’s care. These data also documented the students’ interpretation of the instructor’s care. The qualitative analyses focus on the teacher’s care for students as people and her care for students’ mathematical learning. The results show that many of the instructor’s caring qualities led students to approach the instructor for personal and mathematical questions. The results also show that the instructor chose teacher-centered instructional methods that appeared to satisfy students’ desire for mathematical guidance and reassurance. This case highlights a tension between problem-centered instructional methods advocated by NCTM (2000) versus the more teacher-centered approach that this caring mathematics instructor employed in order to meet students’ perceived needs. This study illuminates specific ways in which a teacher’s care is important for enhancing the mathematics learning of at-risk college students. Implications for teacher education, staffing of remedial college courses, and future research are discussed.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Rosa Rosas
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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