The Developmental Math Program is part of the decentralized Developmental Education Program and an integral part of the Math Department. It is coordinated by the Developmental Math Lead who heads the Developmental Math Committee. In its mission, goals, program components and evaluation methods, it parallels the Developmental Education Program in the following ways:
Meaningful student learning outcomes:
In addition to the traditional focus on procedural competence, our courses are designed to help students learn to solve problems in real world contexts that require more than algorithmic approaches and to use multiple representations of mathematical ideas in order to build quantitative literacy. Our program SLOs are aligned with AMATYC and NCTM Standards.
Collaborative investigations into student learning:
Teaching Communities meet throughout the semester with the goal of developing effective curriculum and pedagogy that support our program's SLOs. Teaching Communities are based on the theory that idiosyncratic efforts, while sometimes brilliant and inspiring, cannot affect the same kind of sustainable innovation fostered by a community of practice. While we respect each other as individuals, it is as a community that we build understanding and advance our own skills as teachers, and ultimately, offer our students greater opportunity to learn.
Integration of research and best practice
into curriculum and pedagogy:
The design of our precollegiate math courses and the structure of our approach to professional development has been influenced by the findings of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Other program features are based on a meta-analysis of the research into effective Developmental Education Programs outlined by Hunter Boylan in What Works: Research-based Best Practices in Developmental Education. The Teaching Communities have applied ideas from a variety of math education research, such as the National Research Council’s How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom. In Fall 2009, we expanded our efforts to include acceleration and were one of the first colleges to join the California Acceleration Project. We now offer multiple sections and multiple modes of acceleration.
Integrated assessment of student learning for the purpose of program improvement:
Each semester we holistically assess student achievement of program learning outcomes by analyzing a cross-section of final exams. This information is used to focus the future work of the Teaching Community.