Alignment of mathematical expectations held by high school teachers and college professors
Martin, Ashley R.
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This study examined academic expectations instructors deem important for student success in collegiate mathematics courses with regard to mathematical content, mathematical processes, and classroom culture. High school mathematics teachers and college mathematics professors completed three questionnaires and an interview in which participants were asked to respond to questions regarding what they feel is most essential for students enrolled in introductory level college mathematics courses to know in order to be successful in college mathematics courses and how they define success in introductory level college mathematics courses. Information collected allowed for an analysis to identify the participants’ primary foci. The results of this study indicate that the mathematical expectations of high school teachers and college professors do not align with regard to content, processes, and classroom culture. As a result, students may not be adequately prepared for introductory college mathematics courses. Implications of these findings for educators include an increased emphasis on focal areas and topics, which may help to bridge the gap between these expectations. In addition, this study supports the need for intercommunication between high school, community college, and university instructors and creative means to help students prepare for the transition. An ability to bridge the gap in the expectations from high school to college may improve student success in college mathematics courses.