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ERIC Number: EJ1178090
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 38
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8251
The Path to College Calculus: The Impact of High School Mathematics Coursework
Sadler, Philip; Sonnert, Gerhard
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, v49 n3 p292-329 May 2018
This study addresses a longstanding question among high school mathematics teachers and college mathematics professors: Which is the best preparation for college calculus-- (a) a high level of mastery of mathematics considered preparatory for calculus (algebra, geometry, precalculus) or (b) taking calculus itself in high school? We used a data set of 6,207 students of 216 professors at 133 randomly selected U.S. colleges and universities, and hierarchical models controlled for differences in demography and background. Mastery of the mathematics considered preparatory for calculus was found to have more than double the impact of taking a high school calculus course on students' later performance in college calculus, on average. However, students with weaker mathematics preparation gained the most from taking high school calculus.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment; SAT (College Admission Test)
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0813702