NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED523552
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 66
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 44
Basic Skills Instruction in Community Colleges: The Dominance of Remedial Pedagogy. Working Paper, Number 2
Grubb, W. Norton; Boner, Elizabeth; Frankel, Kate; Parker, Lynette; Patterson, David; Gabriner, Robert; Hope, Laura; Schiorring, Eva; Smith, Bruce; Taylor, Richard; Walton, Ian; Wilson, Smokey
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE (NJ3)
A previous working paper argued, that, to understand basic skills education, it is necessary to observe classrooms to see what the "instructional triangle" involving the instructor, students, and content is like. This working paper presents the results of observing classes in 13 community colleges. It starts with a conceptualization of instruction, distinguishing behaviorist teaching, constructivist teaching, and hybrid teaching that combines the two (as well as several other dimension of quality), and provides various reasons why hybrid or constructivist teaching is likely to be more effective than behaviorist teaching. One notable feature of remedial classrooms is the consistent encouragement and support of students. Sometimes this takes the form of support classes or Student Success courses, but often it is simply part of common instructional practice. However, the majority of basic skills classes follow what the authors call "remedial pedagogy"--drill and practice on sub-skills, usually devoid of any references to how these skills are used in subsequent courses or in adult roles. Remedial pedagogy takes different forms in math, reading, writing, and ESL (where it is least common). Unfortunately, remedial pedagogy violates many of the precepts of effective instruction presented in the first section of this paper, so there are reasons to think that this approach is partly responsible for the lack of success in developmental education. The methodology of the study is appended. (Contains 1 figure and 24 endnotes.) [For the "Understanding the "Crisis" in Basic Skills: Framing the Issues in Community Colleges. Basic Skills Instruction in California Community College. Working Paper, Number 1", see ED523553.]
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE. 3653 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670. Tel: 510-642-7223; Fax: 510-642-9148; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)
Identifiers - Location: California