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Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Harriett Arnold

First Committee Member

Gregory Potter

Second Committee Member

Rachelle Hackett

Third Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Abstract

Students are entering college having earned credit for college Calculus 1 based on their scores on the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB exam. Despite being granted credit for college Calculus 1, it is unclear whether these students are adequately prepared for college Calculus 2. College calculus classes are often taught from a more theoretical perspective rather than AP Calculus courses taught in high schools, and many students who enter college mathematics with Calculus 2—who possess AP credit for Calculus 1—have found the theoretical perspective of college Calculus 2 courses to be overwhelming. Consequently, these students have not performed well in Calculus 2. This has led to a belief that students with AP Calculus credit for Calculus 1 do not perform as well in college Calculus 2 in comparison to their peers who earned credit for college Calculus 1. Simultaneously, a contradicting belief exists: Students with AP Calculus credit for college Calculus 1 are the strongest students in college Calculus 2, outperforming their peers. The goal of this quantitative study was to compare the learning outcomes of students in college Calculus 2 of students with and without AP Calculus AB credit for college Calculus 1. In analyzing the data, four distinct entry points into college mathematics on a path to college Calculus 2 were identified: Calculus 2 having earned credit for Calculus 1 by means of the AP Calculus AB, Calculus 1 despite having taken AP Calculus in high school, Calculus 1 having not taken AP Calculus in high school, and Pre-Calculus. Each of these entry points were analyzed to identify measures of success in high school and college which are associated with success in college Calculus 2. The results of this study suggest that students with AP Calculus credit for college Calculus 1 do outperform their peers in Calculus 2. Furthermore, the higher the entry point into college mathematics, the better a student is likely to do in Calculus 2. Measures of success that were found to be positively associated with success in Calculus 2 include high school cumulative grade point average and college Calculus 1 grade. A measure that was found to be negatively associated with Calculus 2 success was the number of times a student repeated Calculus 1 prior to enrolling in Calculus 2.

Pages

244

ISBN

9781303319983

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