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ERIC Number: ED515076
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 170
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-4170-7
Understanding College Students' Disconnections with Mathematics
Edwards, Karen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Albany
This study explores the disconnections introductory college mathematics students experience with mathematics. The experiences of six former mathematics students from their earliest memories forward to present day were explored. The study employed an interpretive case study and an action research methodology to present a detailed, historical record of the students' interactions and disconnections with learning quantitative material. The study has three primary purposes: (1) to record faithfully each participant's story dealing with quantitative/mathematical learning experiences; (2) to understand their disconnections with mathematics so that the information might be used to inform the author's reflective practice; (3) to add to the body of knowledge that already exists regarding students' difficulty learning mathematics. Findings indicate that overlaying relational theory, reflection, and students' knowledge construction leads to increased understanding, bringing the needs of students more clearly into focus and providing ways to proceed in the future. Students' firsthand accounts of a lifetime of disconnection with mathematics are unforgettable and compelling. The study identifies the following themes that need consideration: caring and being cared for, connection to self and self-capacity, connection to the world to make meaning and construct knowledge, pitfalls of school efficiency, social standing, and acceptance by peers, prior knowledge and experience, and academic assistance bridging the disconnections. The author examines each of these themes individually, but also recognizes that a full understanding lies in the overlaps occurring between them. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A