Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Trisha Bergthold


African American, Community College, Immediacy, Mathematics, Perceived Cognitive Learning

Subject Areas

Mathematics Education; African American Studies


The purpose of this research is to examine what instructor immediacy behaviors are perceived to most positively affect the perceived cognitive learning of African American community college mathematics students. Data were provided via voluntary student surveys collected in various mathematics classrooms at two community colleges. The survey instrument was modeled from the works of Gorham (1988) and Sanders and Wiseman (1990) and included an experimental survey method of direct questioning. The perceptions of African American community college students regarding the behaviors of their mathematics instructors, along with their stated preferred instructor behaviors, produced a subset of effective strategies similar to those discussed in prior research that was not specifically related to African American students or mathematics. Results suggest that immediacy is important to the perceived cognitive learning of these students and that further research is required to gain a complete understanding of immediacy and how it manifests in this context.