ERIC Number: ED366744
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-20
Exploring What Counts: Research into Adult Basic Education Mathematics (RABEM).
Comings, John; Mullinix, Bonnie
A study sought to identify and examine key factors that influence adult basic education (ABE) mathematics instruction in Massachusetts and to develop a detailed picture of the adult basic math learning environment. Phase I involved a survey by questionnaire directed at the entire Massachusetts population of instructors and program directors involved in ABE math instruction. Responses were received from 141 teachers and 78 administrators. Phases II and III used a combination of in-depth interviews with 15 instructors and 13 learners and 2 sets of classroom observations to assess current teaching practices, skills, and attitudes toward mathematics among teachers of mathematics based in a variety of ABE programs. Although over 61 percent of instructors used questioning several times a session, only 20 percent found this to be one of their most important methods; 28 percent felt that repeated practice and worksheets were most effective; and 22 percent identified group problem solving and cooperative learning as the most effective. Most programs used the Test of Adult Basic Education to record levels and occasionally place learners in class, but few instructors relied on it to diagnose needs or assess learner progress. Roughly three-fourths of instructors had only basic high school math, 11 percent had teacher certification, and 11 percent held a masters in education. Many math classes were taught based on curriculum developed by instructors (41 percent), groups or instructors (21 percent), or programs (18 percent). (The research framework is appended.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Dallas, TX, November 20, 1993).