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ERIC Number: EJ1002378
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-3667
Developing Quantitative Reasoning: Will Taking Traditional Math Courses Suffice? An Empirical Study
Agustin, Ma Zenia; Agustin, Marcus; Brunkow, Paul; Thomas, Susan
Journal of General Education, v61 n4 p305-313 2012
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) is a postbaccalaureate comprehensive university in the Midwest. In 2005, SIUE embarked on a challenging journey of general education reform. A review of the current general education program revealed that it is possible for a student to graduate from SIUE without taking a quantitative course. Hence, one critical component of the new general education program, called the Lincoln Program, is the institution of a quantitative reasoning requirement. This requirement can be fulfilled by completing the course QR 101: Quantitative Reasoning or by passing a proficiency examination within the first thirty semester hours. Since QR 101 is a brand-new course, much skepticism was expressed about its anticipated effectiveness and potential applicability. The most common issues raised included: (1) college students should be numerically literate and therefore do not need QR 101; (2) QR 101 is a "watered-down" math class, and students will be disappointed and bored with its content; and (3) students who are required to take math classes as part of their program should be exempt from taking QR 101. Having had no prior course that addresses quantitative reasoning, it became necessary to undertake an empirical approach to confront the issues. In this essay, the authors present the results of a study that was conducted in an attempt to address the above-mentioned issues. In particular, they examine the claim that students whose degree programs require a significant math component (e.g., calculus) will acquire adequate quantitative reasoning skills as part of their chosen major. The empirical results presented in this essay show that taking one or more traditional math courses does not necessarily develop quantitative reasoning. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois