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ERIC Number: ED519031
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 48
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
Possible Reasons for Students' Ineffective Reading of Their First-Year University Mathematics Textbooks. Technical Report. No. 2011-2
Shepherd, Mary D.; Selden, Annie; Selden, John
Online Submission
This paper reports the observed behaviors and difficulties that eleven precalculus and calculus students exhibited in reading new passages from their mathematics textbooks. To gauge the effectiveness of these students' reading, we asked them to attempt straightforward mathematical tasks, based directly on what they had just read. These students had high ACT mathematics and high ACT reading comprehension test scores and used many of the helpful metacognitive strategies developed in reading comprehension research. However, they were not effective readers of their mathematics textbooks. In discussing this, we draw on the psychology literature to suggest that cognitive gaps, that is, periods of lapsed or diminished focus, during reading may explain some of the ineffectiveness of the students' reading. Finally, we suggest some implications for teaching and pose questions for future research. Appended to this document are: (1) Precalculus Reading Passages; (2) Calculus Reading Passages with Interruptions; and (3) Debriefing Questions. (Contains 2 tables and 13 endnotes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Tennessee Technological University, Department of Mathematics