An investigation of the real-problem-solving curriculum in the college general education mathematics course

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ray Theodore Treadway (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Lois V. Edinger

Abstract: Most colleges offer a general education mathematics course for students whose background and interest are minimal and whose expected use of mathematics is limited to fairly fundamental topics. A review of the literature and the experiences of instructors revealed that the teaching of this course is generally mechanistic and skill-oriented. The students gain little ability to solve real-life problems. The real-problem-solving approach to the acquisition of mathematical and problem-solving skills is seen as a potential basis for a more effective general education course. This approach is exemplified by the Unified Sciences and Mathematics for Elementary Schools (USMES) program which provides a curriculum, teaching materials, and a guiding philosophy featuring real-problem solving and inquiry. The real-problem-solving curriculum was tried out in one of two sections of a general education college mathematics course while the traditional approach was used in the other section. This investigation, in the form of a case study, examined the experiences, insights, and frustrations of the instructor in planning and carrying out this approach. Teacher-made and standard tests and questionnaires were used to measure comparative gains in mathematical knowledge, changes in attitudes toward mathematics and classroom procedures, and changes in problem-solving ability.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1983
Mathematics $x Study and teaching (Higher) $x Curricula
Education, Higher $x Curricula
Universities and colleges $x Curricula

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