ERIC Number: ED203935
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-9
Thematic Teaching in Remedial Mathematics.
Pace, John P.
For many students the present remedial mathematics curriculum is a collection of loosely related, very difficult to understand topics, and many, in consequence, lack the motivation to persist in remedial math courses. Most alternative instructional methods used in these courses fail to convey a sense of the underlying purpose of mathematics and thus do not enhance student motivation. The literature shows that calculators, multi-media aids, math anxiety interventions, programmed learning techniques, and real-life applications approaches all have many advocates, but studies have failed to demonstrate that these techniques significantly increase learning. To achieve the sense of instructional purpose ignored by these methods, the remedial mathematics curriculum should center around mathematical themes. Rather than sequentially introducing students to whole numbers, fractions, and so on, a remedial arithmetic course, for example, might address the themes of math as a purposeful creation, as the search for and use of coherent generalizations, as a means of simplifying quantifiable phenomena to improve understanding, and as a powerful, but limited tool. These themes can give direction to overall course- and specific lesson-planning. For example, the study of base 10 structures and measurement systems can be related to the first theme of man and his purposes. In this way, the thematic approach establishes coherence among the topics addressed. (JP/AYC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Remedial and Developmental Mathematics in College: Issues and Innovations (New York, NY, April 9-11, 1981).