Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Mathematical Sciences

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Eileen Murray

Committee Member

Steven Greenstein

Committee Member

Teo Paoletti

Subject(s)

Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States, College teachers, Part-time--Training of, Curriculum planning

Abstract

There is a growing need to retain students in STEM fields and majors in the U.S. Improving students’ experience in early mathematics courses like Precalculus can influence students’ decisions to remain in STEM fields. Teachers can play an important role in providing effective learning experiences to the students. Supporting teachers and providing professional development can help the teachers in facilitating student learning. When it comes to implementing research-based mathematics curricula, teachers are key players in making the curriculum come alive inside their classrooms. The challenges that teachers face when implementing a research-based mathematics curriculum can provide opportunities for their own learning. As they engage with the curricular resources, the new curriculum challenges the teachers’ current knowledge and teaching practice. In this dissertation I have explored three adjunct instructors’ engagement with a research-based mathematics curriculum over the course of two semesters. Engagement with the curricular resources provided opportunities for their learning, as the instructors planned and enacted the curriculum, discussed it while collaborating with colleagues or reflecting. Some of these opportunities were availed and some were left unexplored. Findings of this study have implications for developing effective professional development programs for adjunct instructors.

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Mathematics Commons

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