Saturday, May 12, 2012

Remediation for Remedial Math

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent discussion-list post “Remediation for Remedial Math” [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Norman Stahl of the LRNASST-L list has pointed to Mitch Smith’s (2012) Inside Higher Ed article “Remediation for Remedial Math” at Smith wrote (paraphrasing; my CAPS):

“Texas appears to be the first state to adopt drastic rethinking of remedial math in all its community colleges. When the new system, dubbed Mathways, is fully in place, remedial students who intend on majoring in a science- or math-based field will still take a traditional, algebra-based developmental course. BUT OTHER STUDENTS MIGHT TAKE CLASSES IN STATISTICS OR QUANTITATIVE REASONING, subsets of math that could prove more relevant to their careers and present less of a barrier to [those] emerging from remedial education.”

In my opinion, the major problem my not be inherent difficulty for many students of the algebra on which remedial courses concentrate, but the fact that such courses are ineffectively taught as passive-student lecture courses. Jerry Epstein’s (2007) “Calculus Concept Inventory” is beginning to show the abysmal ineffectiveness of standard introductory calculus courses. Similarly, an “Algebra Concept Inventory” might show the same thing for current algebra courses.

To access the complete 8 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles:
Links to SDI Labs:

REFERENCES [All URL’s shortened by and accessed on 12 May 2012.]
Hake, R.R. 2012. “Remediation for Remedial Math,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 12 May 2012 10:24:19-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are also being transmitted to several discussion lists.

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