MATH: CONFERENCE: Broadening Participation in Mathematics Education through Practitioner Inquiry

Project: Research project

Project Details


A National priority is to increase the diversity of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. One important way to accomplish this is to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of students entering and graduating in STEM disciplines. In line with this, mathematics faculty members play a significant role as instructors, mentors, and curriculum developers in student success and progress towards a STEM degree. However, few mathematics faculty are provided professional training that exposes them to teaching practices tailored to support the success, for example, of African American, Latino, and Native American students. This project is a conference/workshop with a threefold purpose. (1) The investigators will engage approximately thirty-five (35) mathematics faculty members from community colleges in Colorado - where mathematics curriculum reform is already underway - in learning techniques to develop culturally inclusive pedagogical practices and increase the success of historically underserved students in mathematics coursework. These techniques are based on an approach to data use and educational change known as practitioner inquiry. Recent studies of curricular and pedagogical reforms in STEM fields provide evidence that strategies involving practitioner inquiry are promising approaches to bringing about cultural and organizational change. (2) The researchers will gather information on conference participants' willingness to undertake curriculum reforms, and if so, under what conditions of institutional support. (3) Conference evaluation results will be analyzed to design future interventions involving mathematics faculty in community colleges, thereby supporting a United States goal to broaden participation in STEM.

The main goals of the workshop are to gauge faculty attitudes, beliefs, and willingness to engage in inquiry as a technique to enable math faculty to incorporate new knowledge and cultural competencies into their educational practice. The conference evaluation will support the investigation by exploring the following research questions: What information, concepts, and models from existing practice stimulate interest among mathematics educators to learn about culturally inclusive pedagogies? What information, concepts, and models from existing practice have a positive influence on mathematics educators' intentions to participate in practitioner inquiry and carry out curricular and pedagogical changes designed to broaden participation in mathematics coursework? Mathematics faculty members' experience of the conference will inform the design of new inquiry methods as well as outreach and dissemination strategies that further promote mathemtics faculty implementation of culturally inclusive pedagogy.

Effective start/end date8/1/157/31/16


  • National Science Foundation: $49,957.00


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