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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimer: 1072-8325
ISSN En ligne: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v3.i3.20
pages 145-159

A COMMUNITY APPROACH TO LEARNING CALCULUS: FOSTERING SUCCESS FOR UNDERREPRESENTED ETHNIC MINORITIES IN AN EMERGING SCHOLARS PROGRAM

Baine B. Alexander
Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation and Dissemination (LEAD) Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Anne C. Burda
Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation and Dissemination (LEAD) Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Susan B. Millar
Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation and Dissemination (LEAD) Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

RÉSUMÉ

Failure to successfully complete gateway calculus courses often prevents ethnic minority students from pursuing science and engineering majors. Research suggests that this failure to succeed is caused more by social factors than attributes related to ability. This article presents the findings of an evaluation study of the Wisconsin Emerging Scholars (WES) Program, a nonremedial, multicultural workshop approach to learning calculus. Through its emphasis on community and collaboration, WES is a more culturally relevant approach to learning calculus and is designed to foster substantial participation of underrepresented ethnic minority students. The WES approach also helps to alleviate the problem of isolation and lack of support that ethnic minorities can face in a large, predominantly white university. Optimal program implementation creates a community of confident calculus learners who academically outperform traditional calculus students and who are better prepared to succeed in future science and engineering courses.


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