ERIC Number: ED377905
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
The State of Basic Math at T-VI: A Report from the Faculty.
As part of an effort to improve basic math instruction at Vocational-Technical Institute (T-VI) in New Mexico, a survey was conducted asking teachers, tutors, and instructional technicians to assess the importance of and student performance on 35 basic math competencies. Survey responses were then related to two national standards of mathematical literacy: the vocational standards of the Secretary of Labor's Commission on Achieving the Necessary Skills (SCANS) and the academic standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Study highlights included the following: (1) several skills seen as important by SCANS and NCTM were viewed as unimportant by teachers of math and math-related subjects, including "working together in groups to solve problems,""using calculators,""ability to estimate,""ability to use measuring tools and systems," and "ability to use simple statistical processes"; (2) though different departments at T-VI had different requirements and expectations, there seemed to be a core of basic mathematical skills that almost all respondents agreed were important; (3) tutors found the use of "dimensional analysis" as particularly important; and (4) some skills viewed as generally important by most respondents were not usually addressed in the math curricula at T-VI, such as "the ability to generalize problem solutions to new situations"; "ability to apply a variety of strategies to the solution of a problem"; "ability to communicate in the language of math"; and "possessing confidence in one's mathematical abilities." Based on study findings, it was recommended that the appropriateness of national standards to the local labor and academic market be investigated; that different developmental and preparatory math courses be developed for different vocational and academic departments; that instructors be acquainted with current thinking in math education; and that curricula, texts, and tests be reformed to reflect skills that industry, academe, and T-VI faculty deem important. Item results by group are included. (KP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California Community Colleges, Sacramento. Office of the Chancellor.
Authoring Institution: Albuquerque Technical Vocational Inst., NM.