Sunday, February 25, 2024
The RP Group

Jul 8, 2010  |  Dr Katie Hern, English Instructor, Chabot College

This resource contains the article "Exponential Attrition and the Promise of Acceleration in Developmental English and Math," which makes the case that high attrition rates are structurally guaranteed in long developmental sequences and that open-access accelerated courses are a promising way to increase completion rates in college-level English and Math. Also included is an extended analysis of data from Chabot's curriculum, "Student Success and Persistence in Accelerated Developmental English," and "Window into an Accelerated Classroom," which presents the major quizzes and papers assigned in a Spring 2010 section of accelerated developmental English taught by Katie Hern at Chabot College.


What's the Goal of Math Education?

Submitted by Ming Ho, Mathematics Faculty at Chabot College on July 20, 2010

For non-calculus bound community college students, I love the idea of having a developmental math curriculum that is strip of algebraic mechanics that are really just preparation for calculus. At Chabot College, we have an applied intermediate algebra course to meet that need. The course has developed to a point where at least four instructors (including myself) have given midterms and finals consisting of only word problem.

I hope we will have an opportunity in the future to read  in more detail about the accelerated developmental math course leading to statistics at Los Medanos College, or any such effort in the Carnegie Foundation's Statway initiative. A concern I have about structuring developmental math towards only preparation for statistics is that it runs the danger of missing a well-rounded math education, which should also include some geometry, proportional reasoning, algebraic reasoning, and mathematical modeling for problem solving. Just because the traditional math curriculum at the community college errs in focusing predominantly on the preparation of calculus doesn't mean the pendulum should swing too far the other way.

For me, a mathematics education is not just to pass a transferable math course for a bachelor's degree but to have the various tools to reason quantitatively about the world. When I bought a house a year ago, I thought about my mortgage, and I thought about how much of the current economic crisis would have been avoided if people could just do some simple quantitative reasoning, with the help of a calculator or spreadsheet, before they took on deals that were too good to be true. My house has a irregularly shaped pond, and it was necessary to figure how much water it has so I can put in sufficient amount of chloramine remover so my koi fish wouldn't die. I would like a curriculum that produce quantitatively literate citizens, with a college degree as a by-product, not one to satisfy degree requirement but lose sight of what a general mathematics education means. Myra Snell at Los Medanos has definitely tried something innovative to break us out of the mold of traditional developmental math curriculum.