Project Number: UR133
Project Title: Mathematics and Me
Faculty Sponsor: Joyce Piert
Proposed Starting Date: 06/18/12
Proposed Ending Date: 08/15/12
Student in mind: Yes
Number of hours to work per week: 7-10 hours
Project Description: s research is a critical analysis of the educational perceptions of mathematics students as they negotiate their identities as mathematics students in an entry level mathematics course. Many of these students are new freshmen, non-traditional students (students who have had an interruption in their education), have had negative mathematics experiences, or students who have not successfully passed this course after several attempts. As a result, these students are often discouraged, frustrated or even fearful of this mathematical encounter and reluctantly enroll in this course.
This study seeks to discover if student perceptions of their mathematical identities is essential to student learning. In an effort to capture these students perception of their mathematical identity, this study will utilize a qualitative research design. This study will utilize one method of data collection. Data will be collected from student responses to questions from a course required Journal assignment for both the face-to-face course and the online course. This method was chosen because of ease of access to a sample of entry level Mathematics students. Similar to surveys, Journal entries can elicit information about attitudes that are otherwise difficult to measure using observational techniques (McIntyre, 1999). Once the data is collected and analyzed, the emergent themes and patterns will be identified and through data reduction the findings will be analyzed (Cresswell, 2009; Janesick, 2010).
This study will span the 2011-2012 academic year, in which the Journal entries data will be collected at the end of the Winter 2012 semester. During the Spring/Summer 2012 semester of 2012, data from the journal entries will be transcribed and further analysis will continue towards publication of the research results.
Student Tasks & Responsibilities: Student will perform literature searches in the library for articles and books pertaining to the project, which I will define the literature bins to search. Also student will create annotative bibliographies of literature located for the project. Student will meet with me bi-weekly to discuss findings and any challenges.
Minimum Student Qualifications: Student should be computer savvy and internet proficient. Student should have knowledge of how to use library resources and demonstrate proficient writing skills. Student should be able to think analytically and summarize readings in concise, coherent discourse.