Beyond Skill: Students' Dispositions Towards Math
Mathematics and Statistics
Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Science and Mathematics Education
Journal of Developmental Education
Universities have been forced to confront the increasing placement of students into developmental courses and the subsequent lack of success students encounter. In an effort to better understand how students' attitudes and dispositions towards mathematics impact this trend, we explored the differences in nine characteristics between students in developmental and college-level mathematics courses from a sample of 676 freshmen ata large, public university. Findings showed that students in developmental math did have significantly less-favorable dispositions towards mathematics. However, a cluster analysis revealed that the students were not as homogeneous as may first have appeared, showing a mix of favorable and less-favorable attitudes and dispositions. Further, a regression analysis revealed three student characteristics significantly predicted students' placement into developmental courses: their perspective on the applicability of math to the world around them, low confidence, and a limited view of what constitutes validmathematicalsolutions. Taken together, these results challenge traditional, skill-based assessments of postsecondary mathematics preparedness.
Wesley Maciejewski, Cristina Tortora, and John Bragelman. "Beyond Skill: Students' Dispositions Towards Math" Journal of Developmental Education (2021): 18-25.