ERIC Number: ED270149
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-May-9
Readiness and Preparation for Beginning Algebra.
Rotman, Jack W.
Drawing from experience at Lansing Community College (LCC), this paper discusses how to best prepare students for success in a beginning algebra course. First, an overview is presented of LCC's developmental math sequence, which includes Basic Arithmetic (MTH 008), Pre-Algebra (MTH 009), Beginning Algebra (MTH 012), and Intermediate Algebra (MTH 102). Next, data are presented, showing the annual pass rates in MTH 012 for students who first passed MTH 009 and for all other MTH 012 students. The data point to a trend from 1980 to 1984 of improved MTH 012 performance among MTH 009 students, and a reversal of that trend in 1984-85. The next section explains the basic structure of MTH 009 and 012, explaining that both courses are offered in a self-paced, competency-based, math laboratory environment; and that both use a text and workbook in conjunction with individualized instruction as needed. Next, instructional changes that took place in the MTH 009 classes are examined, including a change in textbook, elimination of supplementary "packets," and an increase in mastery requirements. The final sections offer a discussion and analysis of the lower MTH 012 pass rates of MTH 009 students, underscoring the importance of providing students with a general framework of ideas, concepts, and skills (including appropriate vocabulary) in order to help them grasp algebraic topics which are usually abstract in both content and approach. (RO)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a meeting of the Michigan Mathematical Association of America/American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (Mount Pleasant, MI, May 9, 1986).