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Narrative Evaluation for a College Mathematics Foundations Course

Narrative Evaluation for a College Mathematics Foundations Course

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This study evaluates a foundation, also somdetimes called remedial or developmental, mathematics course at a mid-sized university in the southwestern United States. As a narrative evaluation, the study reports the events, explanations, processes and relationships that are evidence of the evaluation proceeding through five generations. The first four generations of evaluation, based on work by Guba and Lincoln, were insufficient to generate major significant recommendations or a final conclusion. The research evolved naturally into the fifth generation, or reflective, type. Many personal and cultural factors affect learning. Qualitative methods are employed for immersion into the experience of program participation and to explain contextualized meanings. The chosen methodology of narrative inquiry pulls the various pieces into a unified qualitative study with an emphasis on optimizing the understanding of the case. This study helped in the ongoing improvement of at least one program. Improvements in other educational settings can be based on practices that prove to be effective with our students whose race, social class, and math achievement place them in need of attention.