Academic journal article Research & Teaching in Developmental Education

Teaching Developmental Math Students

Academic journal article Research & Teaching in Developmental Education

Teaching Developmental Math Students

Article excerpt

Teaching mathematics at the developmental level requires special skills. Often these courses are assigned to either full-time or adjunct faculty who are new to the department and have had little experience working with developmental mathematics students. The new faculty members may have been graduate assistants and taught at a four year college or university and have had little or no exposure to community college students who lack basic mathematics skills. Additionally, they may be recently retired high school teachers who have taught honors calculus for many years and have now decided to work part-time in a community college after their retirement. It is imperative that community college mathematics departments provide guidance and assistance for the new faculty to help them become acclimated to the community college environment and the special needs of developmental students.

It is evident that this assistance is needed when new faculty members are asked about the special needs of developmental students at the community college. Many of the instructors are unable to give a comprehensive reply. They often state that the developmental students may need things explained to them a little slower and they will need more drill and practice than other students. Additionally, the new faculty members will state that the students may need some tutorial support and extra help during office hours. When asked about the methods they use when teaching a developmental course, they often reply that they teach developmental courses exactly like any other course and prefer the lecture method with some group work integrated throughout the semester. …

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