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More Than Reshuffling: Lessons from an Innovative Remedial Math Program at the City University of New York

The CUNY College Transition Initiative (CTI) was expanded and is now offered as an option to freshmen who have taken and failed multiple placement exams.
Author(s): 
S. Hinds
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
The City University of New York
Published: 
2011
Resource Type: 
Product
Number of Pages: 
44
Abstract: 

More Than Reshuffling is a companion paper to More Than Rules(http://lincs.ed.gov/lincs/resourcecollections/mathandnumeracy/profile_14) and it is suggested that More Than Rules be read before this article.

The CUNY College Transition Initiative (CTI) was expanded and is now offered as an option to freshmen who have taken and failed multiple placement exams. A new feature of the CTI math course was a significant increase in the quantity of instruction. This change made it possible to examine whether an increase in instruction could help more students eliminate their need for remedial math while also making progress on a more extensive set of math learning goals.

This article includes sections on:

  • CTI program structure
  • How expansion of math curriculum was accomplished
  • Enrollment and retention information
  • Assessment of student learning
  • Comparison of CTI math teaching and learning with standards and common remedial math reform efforts in community colleges
  • Institutional and other conditions that need to be in place to make this sort of pedagogical change
What the Experts Say: 

This paper provides important information for GED and college transitions teachers and directors. The CTP program described in Mr. Hinds paper provides valuable resources and examples to develop a transition program from GED to college. Mr. Hinds compares what traditionally happens in GED to college programs and then offers alternative strategies to help students not only pass various college placement tests but understand the mathematics taught so that students succeed in college level math.

The appendices of his paper provide many examples of moving from a traditional way of teaching to a more inquiry based method of teaching. His paper concludes with a variety of recommendations for current remedial math programs to implement and meet with the success that his CTP program has accomplished.

This resource is of value to the field of adult education because the results show that the changes that were made in the developmental mathematics classroom were effective. The changes in instruction and curriculum are written out step-by-step and important questions are addressed if another program would want to replicate this type of reform in their community college, vocational college, or adult education program.

This resource calls for disruptive change; something that is needed in developmental math instruction. It focuses not just on the learner; but on the instructor, institution, and the United States beliefs and culture on teaching mathematic and the obstacles that keep us from changing to a more effective type of instruction/instructor. This report sheds light on what we know to be true (what is needed for effective mathematics instruction) and why we (the United States) aren’t implementing what needs to be done.

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