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ERIC Number: ED532188
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 290
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-5449-6
Service-Learning and Mathematics
Roemer, Cynthia Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
Contemporary educational theory has given increased attention to service-learning as valuable pedagogy. Ever-changing technology progress and applications demand a quantitatively literate population, supporting the need for experiential activities in mathematics. This study addresses service-learning pedagogy in mathematics through a study of the following research questions: (1) Are there practicable connections between service-learning and mathematics? (2) Are the teaching and learning of mathematics enhanced using a service-learning approach? These research questions are explored through a review of existing literature, implementation of service-learning projects in selected community college mathematics courses, student participant survey tools, volunteer agency survey tools, student participant reaction forms, and student interviews. Practicable connections are considered in the context of aligning course objectives and content with community needs, also taking into consideration student perspectives on mathematics applications in our world. Enhanced teaching and learning are addressed through a review of motivation, instruction, assessment, and student growth. The questionnaires provide largely quantitative data, with some open-ended items for additional insights. The interviews and reaction forms provide qualitative results. General findings present means and standard deviations resulting from the questionnaires and include a comparison of pre and post participation views. Selected case studies yield more detailed results, both quantitatively and qualitatively. This research supports the literature that practicable connections do exist between service-learning and mathematics. Results regarding enhanced teaching and learning through service-learning are mixed. Motivation in mathematics and community service is impacted by general student motivation and the quality of the service experience. Instruction and learning occur, but as with any instruction, to varying levels of success and achievement as related to individual aptitudes and attitudes. Assessment value is inconclusive as variation among all evaluation tools limit findings. Student growth is, overall, strong both academically and civically. Organization and detailed preparation are necessary in the development of service projects, yet flexibility as the experiences unfold is required. Careful consideration of service experiences and models that are aligned with course goals and content, student abilities and interests, and community needs is essential. Reflection is critical to learning. Individual student differences contribute considerably to outcomes. [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: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A