Date of Conferral







Cheryl Keen


Community college mathematics faculty have instituted changes to address inadequate preparation of incoming students to learn college-level mathematics. However, they could do more to develop student cognitive capabilities to enable underprepared students to successfully learn college mathematics. This basic qualitative study examined the perceptions of community college mathematics instructors who made their classrooms more reflective, including using reflection as an instruction activity for students entering college underprepared to learn college-level mathematics. The conceptual framework consisted of Baxter Magolda’s epistemological reflection model of college student development and Schoenfeld’s theoretical model for teaching mathematics. Open coding of interviews with 10 community college mathematics instructors in the United States suggested instructors agreed that improvement in teaching mathematics is needed. They reported that reflection fostered development of epistemological and cognitive abilities of underprepared students who were newly successful in learning mathematics. Instructors perceived that reflection activities improved student learning outcomes, with reflection first starting individually and then shared by explaining solutions to the instructor and other students, leading to a growing confidence. In addition, instructors noticed that reflection improved their own teaching practice over time. This study may contribute to positive social change by helping community college faculty and leaders better understand how to improve learning outcomes for underprepared students to become newly successful in learning mathematics and by doing so, remain enrolled in community college and complete their degrees.