Understanding the Latinx Student Experience in a First-Year, Non-Remedial, Terminal College Math Course: A Convergent Mixed Methods Study
Date of Award
Educational Administration and Policy Studies
Latinx, Mathematics, Mixed methods, Post secondary, Student retention
Working with Latinx students, a semester long study was conducted in the Spring of 2021 to better understand student’s perception of Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices (CRTP) at Mountain State University (MSU). The course sections selected are a part of a larger first year, non-remedial, terminal mathematics courses designed to provide students with smaller teacher to student ratios as well as opportunities to earn credit towards graduation. Instructors in two of the sections received special training around CRTP, while instructors in the other two sections did not receive this training. Findings demonstrate that simple adjustments to instructional practices had a statistically significant effect on student’s perceptions of mathematics in two domains of CRTP. These adjustments include providing students an opportunity to apply the math they learn to their chosen pathways through article reviews and mathematical application to relevant problems. Additionally, sharing a diverse representation of current mathematicians in practice as well as sharing their trials and tribulations provides students a more realistic view of who can do mathematics.
There are also opportunities for larger, systemic changes. Most notably, this includes restructuring these specialized sections to focus on students’ understanding and application of the content, versus a lecture style instructional approach currently utilized. To achieve this change, the university must focus on three changes: (a) build a pipeline between the undergraduate and graduate programs to train and hire more diverse mathematics instructors; (b) develop opportunities to train instructors in Culturally Responsive Teaching; and (c) enable greater autonomy for these four sections and the larger group of classes that share the same course title. While MSU has tentatively rolled out some opportunities to better support students, there continue to be opportunities to expand the utilization of CRTP within these terminal, non-remedial mathematics courses.
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Morgan, Ross, "Understanding the Latinx Student Experience in a First-Year, Non-Remedial, Terminal College Math Course: A Convergent Mixed Methods Study" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1967.
Received from ProQuest
Education, Higher education, Higher education administration