PROBING THE EFFICACY OF THE    ALGEBRA PROJECT:  A SUMMARY OF FINDINGS       Michael J. Reimer      November 3rd, 2012
ProblemPercentage of 9th Grade Students At or Above Proficient on the               Algebra I CST by Race/Ethnicity       ...
Purpose• The Algebra Project has been employed by a local  site to address the inequities reflected in the  scores.• A pil...
Background• Developed by Robert Moses.  Mathematics literacy = “new civil rights” issue.  Rooted in an community organizin...
Algebra Project Students
Algebra Project Students
Research Question #1Compared instructional methodologies (Non-Algebra Project v. Algebra Project) asmeasured by the Algebr...
Research Question #1Compared instructional methodologies (Non-Algebra Project v. Algebra Project) asmeasured by the Algebr...
Research Question #2Compared instructional methodologies (Non-Algebra Project v. Algebra Project) asmeasured by the MAI su...
Research Question #2MAI consists of 48 questions designed toprovide data on 6 affective constructs:Perception of Mathemati...
Research Question #2MAI consists of 48 questions designed toprovide data on 6 affective constructs:Perception of Mathemati...
Research Question #3Investigated additional factors that impactedhow students felt about mathematics.Multiple perspectives...
Results - Research Question #3             Teacher InterviewsCoded against Morrison‟s et al. framework of 15Culturally Rel...
Reshaping the Prescribed CurriculumAnalysis of the teachers‟ transcripts revealed:• Weak alignment between: a) the Algebra...
Algebra Project Students
Taking Personal Responsibility for         Students‟ Success“…Because up „til now, it‟s always the studentsare broken, you...
Results - Research Question #3        Student Focus GroupsOpen coding for emerging themes.Analysis revealed several differ...
Results - Research Question #3                Student Focus Groups                     Qualified PreferenceVance: Well, ye...
Results - Research Question #3            Student Focus Groups                Student RelationsAP Cohort       Balanced di...
Implications• Emphasis on ongoing curricular alignment and  development for Algebra Project (CCSSA).• Policy and procedure...
Thank you!reimer_michael@hotmail.comAdvisor: Dr. Barbara Henderson
Methodology Research question #1 Research question #2                       Research question #3  QUAN           QUAN     ...
Research Question #1• The null and research hypotheses for the  matched-pair samples t-tests:             H0:      µO2 = µ...
Research Question #1   Experimental Design Oe1       X             Oe2 Oc1                     Oc2
Research Question #1   Experimental Design Oe1       X             Oe2 Oc1                     Oc2
Research Question #1   Experimental Design Oe1       X             Oe2   𝐷e Oc1                     Oc2   𝐷c
Research Question #1   Experimental Design Oe1       X             Oe2   𝐷e                                    D.I.D. Oc1 ...
Research Question #1   Experimental Design Oe1       X             Oe2   𝐷e                                    D.I.D. Oc1 ...
Results - Research Question #1                                                         Trial 1    Trial 2     Trial 3 Alge...
Research Question #1 & #2• The null and research hypotheses for the  independent samples t-test:             H0:      µOe1...
Research Question #2MAI consists of 48 questions designed toprovide data on 6 affective constructs:       Perception of Ma...
Results – Research Question #2                Domain                       Non-AP        AP        t      d.f.     p      ...
Reshaping the Prescribed CurriculumI:       … it‟s (the Algebra Project) an alternative         curriculum, and so I think...
Results - Research Question #3             Student Focus Groups                 Qualified PreferenceRonnel: He had us phys...
Results - Research Question #3             Student Focus GroupsRonnel: It‟s different ways of learning. And they both     ...
Results - Research Question #3                    Student Focus GroupsI:          … How‟s math going for ya? What‟s been e...
Results - Research Question #3                      Student Focus GroupsI:          Something easy is graphing?Derrick:   ...
Research Question #3I:        He‟s (the algebra teacher) got a good sense of humor?Alisha:   Yeah. And then he helps us in...
Research Question #3I:        Whose table? Whose …Alisha:   THEIR TABLE (pointing to the Chinese students). It be like…I d...
Student Placement                 Eastwood High School     Contingency Table for Race and Ethnicity and Instructional Supp...
Student Placement            Other District High Schools     Contingency Table for Race and Ethnicity and Instructional Su...
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Probing the Efficacy of the Algebra Project: A Summary of Findings

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Probing the Efficacy of the Algebra Project: A Summary of Findings

  1. 1. PROBING THE EFFICACY OF THE ALGEBRA PROJECT: A SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Michael J. Reimer November 3rd, 2012
  2. 2. ProblemPercentage of 9th Grade Students At or Above Proficient on the Algebra I CST by Race/Ethnicity 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 African American 6% 5% 9% 7% 5% 6% 6% (324) (293) (403) (403) (363) (375) (285) Chinese 48% 55% 51% 47% 52% 51% 50% (894) (1020) (955) (872) (924) (827) (596) Latino 11% 10% 12% 10% 14% 11% 12% (401) (618) (723) (761) (830) (791) (651) White 40% 36% 41% 41% 44% 38% 32% (200) (251) (212) (212) (203) (193) (173) Note: Actual counts stated in parentheses in each cell.
  3. 3. Purpose• The Algebra Project has been employed by a local site to address the inequities reflected in the scores.• A pilot study did not investigate: a) student test- score data or b) affective response.• This research employed a mixed-methods study design (QUAN qual).
  4. 4. Background• Developed by Robert Moses. Mathematics literacy = “new civil rights” issue. Rooted in an community organizing tradition.• Curriculum is experientially & culturally based. 5 step curricular process. 2x standard instructional time.• Program is often cited but poorly studied.
  5. 5. Algebra Project Students
  6. 6. Algebra Project Students
  7. 7. Research Question #1Compared instructional methodologies (Non-Algebra Project v. Algebra Project) asmeasured by the Algebra 1 CST.Trial 1 Study site v. school cohortTrial 2 Study site v. synthetic district cohortTrial 3 Study site v. synthetic district cohort (AA)
  8. 8. Research Question #1Compared instructional methodologies (Non-Algebra Project v. Algebra Project) asmeasured by the Algebra 1 CST.Trial 1 Study site v. school cohort (p = 0.3543 v. p = 0.3994)Trial 2 Study site v. synthetic district cohort (p = 0.3543 v. p = 0.0001)Trial 3 Study site v. synthetic district cohort (AA) (p = 0.4433 v. p = 0.4968)
  9. 9. Research Question #2Compared instructional methodologies (Non-Algebra Project v. Algebra Project) asmeasured by the MAI survey(Sandman, 1973).
  10. 10. Research Question #2MAI consists of 48 questions designed toprovide data on 6 affective constructs:Perception of Mathematics TeacherAnxiety toward MathematicsValue of Mathematics in SocietySelf-concept in MathematicsEnjoyment in MathematicsMotivation in Mathematics
  11. 11. Research Question #2MAI consists of 48 questions designed toprovide data on 6 affective constructs:Perception of Mathematics Teacher (p = 0.3467)Anxiety toward Mathematics (p = 0.6535)Value of Mathematics in Society (p = 0.5063)Self-concept in Mathematics (p = 0.7739)Enjoyment in Mathematics (p = 0.3760)Motivation in Mathematics (p = 0.2436)
  12. 12. Research Question #3Investigated additional factors that impactedhow students felt about mathematics.Multiple perspectives approach included: a) Teacher interviews b) Student focus groups
  13. 13. Results - Research Question #3 Teacher InterviewsCoded against Morrison‟s et al. framework of 15Culturally Relevant Pedagogical elements.The two elements receiving the greatest numberof tallies were investigated in more detail.
  14. 14. Reshaping the Prescribed CurriculumAnalysis of the teachers‟ transcripts revealed:• Weak alignment between: a) the Algebra Project curriculum, b) the Algebra I content standards, and c) the Algebra I CST exam.• Teachers reported spending a significant amount of additional time re-working the curriculum.• Came at expense of other aspects of program.
  15. 15. Algebra Project Students
  16. 16. Taking Personal Responsibility for Students‟ Success“…Because up „til now, it‟s always the studentsare broken, you know, and there‟s no sense incontinuing that flawed reasoning, if we‟re sayingthat we value all students.” – AP Teacher
  17. 17. Results - Research Question #3 Student Focus GroupsOpen coding for emerging themes.Analysis revealed several differences notdetected through quantitative analysis.
  18. 18. Results - Research Question #3 Student Focus Groups Qualified PreferenceVance: Well, yeah, up in that class (Algebra Project) … I was learning hecka stuff, like, but like, it‟s like different kind of math. It‟s like two different kind of math. So that‟s why, up in here …. I feel like last year, I should have learned the same thing I‟m learning up in here, so I could know more by the time I‟m in tenth grade.I: Are they different?Vance: It‟s way different. Like up in there (Algebra Project), like, we doing some other kind of stuff, like…up in there we was doing other kind of stuff, like. Not…not even math, like. It was…it‟s weird.
  19. 19. Results - Research Question #3 Student Focus Groups Student RelationsAP Cohort Balanced discussion between members Racial hierarchies – equitable space Relational Equity (Boaler, 2008)Non-AP Cohort Punctuated by racial microaggressions Co-construction of racial hierarchies More racially polarized classroom
  20. 20. Implications• Emphasis on ongoing curricular alignment and development for Algebra Project (CCSSA).• Policy and procedures for the evaluation and adoption of curricular approaches and materials.• Singular approach to closing the achievement gap likely too limited for complexities associated with challenges.
  21. 21. Thank you!reimer_michael@hotmail.comAdvisor: Dr. Barbara Henderson
  22. 22. Methodology Research question #1 Research question #2 Research question #3 QUAN QUAN Identify qual qual Interpretation results for Data Data follow-up Data Datacollection analysis collection analysis QUAN qual Extreme CaseAlgebra I CST Analysis Interviews & MAI survey (Caracelli & Focus Groups Green) Stage 1 Stage 2 Conclusions
  23. 23. Research Question #1• The null and research hypotheses for the matched-pair samples t-tests: H0: µO2 = µO1 Ha: µO2 > µO1
  24. 24. Research Question #1 Experimental Design Oe1 X Oe2 Oc1 Oc2
  25. 25. Research Question #1 Experimental Design Oe1 X Oe2 Oc1 Oc2
  26. 26. Research Question #1 Experimental Design Oe1 X Oe2 𝐷e Oc1 Oc2 𝐷c
  27. 27. Research Question #1 Experimental Design Oe1 X Oe2 𝐷e D.I.D. Oc1 Oc2 𝐷c
  28. 28. Research Question #1 Experimental Design Oe1 X Oe2 𝐷e D.I.D. Oc1 Oc2 𝐷c
  29. 29. Results - Research Question #1 Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Algebra Project group Eastwood Eastwood Eastwood (n = 79) (n = 79) (n = 37) Comparison group Eastwood District District (n = 56) (n = 213) (n = 34) Sample demographics Various Various AA Controlled for school Yes No No Controlled for grade level (9th grade) Yes Yes Yes Controlled for 8th grade math exposure (Algebra) Yes Yes Yes Controlled for 8th grade mathematics test scores Yes Yes Yes Controlled for instructional time in 9th grade No Yes Yes Algebra Project matched pair p-value (8th-9th) 0.3543 0.3543 0.4433 Comparison matched pair p-value (8th-9th) 0.3994 0.0001* 0.4968 DID Independent t-test p-value 0.6694 0.0960** 0.9281 * Statistically significant difference at α = 0.05 level. ** Statistically significant difference at α = 0.10 level.
  30. 30. Research Question #1 & #2• The null and research hypotheses for the independent samples t-test: H0: µOe1 = µOc1 Ha: µOe1 ≠ µOc1
  31. 31. Research Question #2MAI consists of 48 questions designed toprovide data on 6 affective constructs: Perception of Mathematics Teacher (1) Anxiety toward Mathematics α = 0.05 (1) Value of Mathematics in Society α = 0.10 Self-concept in Mathematics (1) Enjoyment in Mathematics α = 0.10 (1) Motivation in Mathematics α = 0.05
  32. 32. Results – Research Question #2 Domain Non-AP AP t d.f. p X X (S.D.) (S.D.) Perception of the Mathematics Teacher 24.1750 24.8857 -0.9473 70 0.3467 (3.1451) (3.3235) Anxiety toward Mathematics 13.2750 13.5429 -0.4508 73 0.6535 (2.8374) (2.3053) Value of Mathematics in Society 21.4350 21.0000 0.6679 73 0.5063 (3.0118) (2.4971) Self-concept in Mathematics 15.8000 16.0286 -0.2883 73 0.7739 (3.6247) (3.2402) Enjoyment of Mathematics 18.5000 17.6286 0.8911 67 0.3760 (3.8096) (4.5574) Motivation in Mathematics 9.3250 8.6857 1.1765 66 0.2436 (2.1048) (2.5411) * Statistically significant difference at α = 0.05 level. ** Statistically significant difference at α = 0.10 level.
  33. 33. Reshaping the Prescribed CurriculumI: … it‟s (the Algebra Project) an alternative curriculum, and so I think there‟s an extra level of commitment that the teacher would have to have?Mary: Ummhmmm (affirmative). And when we were working on the ninth grade, the first year we did it, I think both Cameron and I were working almost all weekend, every weekend … and it was hard; it was really hard.
  34. 34. Results - Research Question #3 Student Focus Groups Qualified PreferenceRonnel: He had us physically doing stuff with materials.Vance: … Yeah, but up in there (Algebra Project), we learned so much. But in here (traditional algebra) we learn, too, but a different kind of math. So like, so like we don‟t really get it like how we…what‟s supposed to be like…
  35. 35. Results - Research Question #3 Student Focus GroupsRonnel: It‟s different ways of learning. And they both teach in different ways. So I‟m like…I: And you think it‟s different material?Vance: It‟s way different.Ronnel: It‟s way, way, way different.Vance: If you go up in there right now, it‟s different.
  36. 36. Results - Research Question #3 Student Focus GroupsI: … How‟s math going for ya? What‟s been easy or what‟s been challenging in Algebra? Derrick, do you want to start us off? (… African American student knocks three times on his desk …)Derrick: Uh…well, Algebra is going good for me. And some challenging things are, uh…doing hard problems…. (…interrupted by the Pacific Islander female student ….)Alisha: They be hecka smart. They hecka smart. (… Derrick ignores her attempting to answer the question …)Derrick: And uh…something easy for me is graphing.
  37. 37. Results - Research Question #3 Student Focus GroupsI: Something easy is graphing?Derrick: Right.I: Okay. What‟s been hard for you, did you say?Alisha: (… whispers to African American students …) … No … (answering the interviewer‟s question…) (…laughter and snickering from African American students…).Derrick: Oh, uhhh…Doing those …equality things.I: Inequalities?Derrick: Something like that.
  38. 38. Research Question #3I: He‟s (the algebra teacher) got a good sense of humor?Alisha: Yeah. And then he helps us individually. But then, other parts I don‟t like. There‟s specific stuff I don‟t like. It‟s like when we (table of African American and Pacific Islander students) talk, and then… Like, oh, of course, like, we talk like „cause it‟s the end of the day. Like that‟s all we want to do. You know? It‟s our last period of the day. So every time we talk and stuff, like he‟ll bother…like tell us and tell us, like yeah, constantly. But we‟ll stop at a point. But it‟s like, he‟ll always tell us, like, keep ragging up on us, and send us out of class, when it‟ll be like…a…a table like with them (Chinese students). Their table. Like they be making the most noise, and he don‟t do nothing. He don‟t…
  39. 39. Research Question #3I: Whose table? Whose …Alisha: THEIR TABLE (pointing to the Chinese students). It be like…I don‟t want to say, like, that‟s just rude, like….I: Okay.Alisha: … Like a table full of Chinese people… (… laughter and snickering from African American students…) And then there‟ll be a table full of like, of the quiet people, but then they‟ll be…they‟ll make hecka noise, and he won‟t do nothing!
  40. 40. Student Placement Eastwood High School Contingency Table for Race and Ethnicity and Instructional Support at Eastwood High School Methodology AA & L Other Total Non-Algebra Project 35 21 56 (35.6741) (20.3259) Algebra Project 51 28 79 (50.3259) (28.6741) Totals 86 49 135Note: Expected values in parentheses. α = 0.05. (p = 0.8065, d.f. = 1, χ2 = 0.0600)
  41. 41. Student Placement Other District High Schools Contingency Table for Race and Ethnicity and Instructional Support at Other District High Schools Methodology AA & L Other Total Algebra 502 634 1136 (565.0526) (570.9474) Algebra & Support 169 44 213 (105.9474) (107.0526) Totals 671 678 1349Note: Expected values in parentheses. α = 0.05. (p < 0.0001, d.f. = 1, χ2 = 88.6609)

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