id: 05949813
dt: j
an: 2011f.00106
au: Chamberlin, Michelle; Powers, Robert
ti: The promise of differentiated instruction for enhancing the mathematical
understandings of college students.
so: Teach. Math. Appl. 29, No. 3, 113-139 (2010).
py: 2010
pu: Oxford University Press, Oxford; Institute of Mathematics and its
Applications (IMA), Southend-on-sea, Essex
la: EN
cc: B50 C69
ut: preservice teacher education; program effectiveness; individualized
instruction; instructional effectiveness; quasiexperimental design;
pretests posttests; control groups; interviews; teacher education
programs; mathematics achievement
ci:
li: doi:10.1093/teamat/hrq006
ab: Summary: Mathematics instructors must respond to diverse needs of
individual students, including different abilities, interests, learning
styles and cultural backgrounds. To do so, grade kindergarten-12
teachers have been using differentiated instruction, a process of
proactively modifying instruction based on students’ needs. It is
supported by literature on learning and has resulted in the improvement
of grade K-12 students’ learning. Yet, there is no research
literature that reports work on differentiated instruction at the
undergraduate level for meeting the diverse needs of college students,
particularly in mathematics courses. Students frequently report their
college mathematics classes to be unstimulating, boring, irrelevant,
poorly taught or transmissive. This study examined the use of
differentiated instruction in an undergraduate mathematics course for
addressing such concerns and thereby improving students’ mathematical
learning. A concurrent mixed methods research study was used to address
the central research question: What impact does differentiated
instruction in a college mathematics class have on students’
mathematical understandings? A quasi-experimental pre-test and
post-test control-group research design measured the relationship
between the differentiated instruction in the course and the
students’ mathematical understandings. Simultaneously, the impact of
the differentiated instruction on the students’ mathematical
understandings was explored using interviews and analyses of
students’ work. The participants included elementary education majors
enrolled in a mathematics course covering the topic of number and
operations. Results showed that students receiving differentiated
instruction experienced greater gains in their mathematical
understandings. Suggestions for incorporating differentiated
instruction in undergraduate mathematics courses are provided along
with plans for further research.
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