High school mathematics curricula, university mathematics placement recommendations, and student university mathematics performance

Ke Wu Norman, Amanuel G. Medhanie, Michael R Harwell, Edwin Anderson, Thomas R Post

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent "math wars" have drawn attention to how well various high school mathematics curricula prepare students for college-level mathematics. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the high school mathematics curricula and students' post-secondary mathematics placement recommendation, specifically how students responded to the mathematics placement recommendations and the students' performance in the first college mathematics class. The results showed no relationship between students' participation in a particular high school mathematics curriculum and mathematics placement recommendation, or between student high school mathematics curriculum and students' responses to a university mathematics placement recommendation. However, students who took a more/ less difficult class than what was recommended achieved significantly lower/higher grades than those who followed the recommendation. The findings have implications for high school mathematics curricula selection, post-secondary student placement, and future research in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-455
Number of pages22
JournalPRIMUS
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • High school mathematics curricula
  • Mathematics placement
  • Postsecondary mathematics achievement

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