Date of Award
Program or Major
Doctor of Philosophy
Sharon Nodie Oja
The research question addressed in this study is: What profiles of interpretation and implementation of reform in the teaching of calculus emerge from data obtained from mathematics faculty members using Calculus Consortium Based at Harvard (CCH) Curriculum Project materials? Site liaisons from mathematics departments using CCH Curriculum Project materials in 117 academic institutions, consisting of 13 secondary schools, 30 two-year colleges, 19 doctoral and research universities, and 55 other colleges and universities, completed Initial and Site Liaison Surveys. Site liaisons and 266 other instructors from 117 academic institutions completed a Faculty Survey. Six clustering scales were developed from the survey instruments that incorporated goals for reform in calculus curriculum and instruction: CONCEPTS, an emphasis on students' conceptual understanding of the central ideas of calculus; APPROACH, visual, numeric, and analytic approach to all topics and real-world experiences; TEACHING, use of alternative classroom teaching practices; ASSESSMENT, use of alternative student assessment methods; TECHNOLOGY, use of calculators and computers in calculus courses; and ACCESS, accessibility of calculus to students traditionally underrepresented in calculus.
Cluster analysis, using data from the surveys, identified eight groups or clusters of academic institutions. The institutions within each cluster exhibited similar patterns of interpretation and implementation of reform on the six clustering scales. Thirteen validating scales, incorporating survey items not used in the cluster analysis, were used to validate cluster solution. The study provides in-depth descriptions of each cluster from the perspectives of the participants, using participant comments that relate to each of the scales.
The different patterns of reform that are revealed in the cluster descriptions demonstrate that faculty members emphasize different aspects of reform that are meaningful and important to them in their contextual situation. The study is an effort to help the reader better understand reform in calculus curriculum and instruction and recognize the complexities faced by those engaged in the reform process.
Lauten, Alice Darien, "Profiles of reform in the teaching of calculus: A study of the implementation of materials developed by the Calculus Consortium Based at Harvard (CCH) Curriculum Project" (1996). Doctoral Dissertations. 1914.