EMAT 9640: Spring 2003

John Olive


(706) 542-4557


Meeting Time and Room: Tues/Thurs. 8:00-9:15 a.m. Room 102


Office Hours:   By appointment


Text:   Handbook of Research Design in Mathematics and Science Education

            Anthony E. Kelly (ed.) and Richard A. Lesh (ed.)

            Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (2000)


This book can be ordered on-line from the publisher at a discounted price of   $85. 
Go to https://www.erlbaum.com/shop/
It is also available from the NetLibrary to read on-line: http://www.netlibrary.com/ebook_info.asp?message=38&piclist=19799,20772,20775,20813,39801&product_id=19353

Goals of the Course
:  The main goal of the course is for the students to develop research questions for their dissertation research.  These questions should emerge from an analysis of research designs and theories of research in mathematics education, together with discussions with the students’ major professors and doctoral committees.   Emerging questions will be shared with the class and critiqued.   Students will be expected to perform a literature review for their respective questions.   Opportunities to conduct pilot studies based on these questions will be investigated and carried out where possible.   Presentations to the department by each student will be a final goal of the course.


First Article : Lakatos, I (1970). Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programmes.  In I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (Eds.) Criticism and the growth of knowledge, 91-195. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.


Also: Shavelson, R. J. & Towne, L. (Eds.) (2001). Scientific inquiry in education. A report of the National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academy Press (Executive Summary only)

Students' Contributions

From Brian Lawler on 1/16/03:

Today, Courtney brought forth the common flawed assumptions regarding a 
cause-effect relationship between curriculum and high scores on tests 
of mathematical success. He offered as valid data the example of his 
success with Saxon -> high math scores.

I offer another example of data that indicates an alternate conclusion, 
less so to trumpet the curriculum but more so to encourage a 
questioning of the assumptions (and presuppositions) that are often 
hidden in statements about the power of an extant curriculum - like 
these above.

The first link below is a simple "Executive Summary" demonstrating a 
curriculum very different from Saxon to be successful. The rest of the 
research report can be found on the 2nd link.


This next report demonstrates, on a more broad scale, the successes 
measured by students of IMP.


Of course, Dr. Jo Boaler, now at Stanford, made an attempt to 
understand what effect curricular (and other classroom characteristics) 
had on student success on "tests".


Finally, a more personal, and "small data set"  example - once again. 
This California HS has been "graded" in the top 3 for every year the 
state has used this "API" index (API stands for Academic Performance 
Index, although many CA teachers refer to it as the Affluent Parent 
Index). Every student in the high school is taking IMP as their math 
curriculum. And every 9th grade student is heterogeneously grouped  in 
Year 1 of the curriculum, 10th grade in Year 2, etc.


And finally, I will leave the last word to our colleague Jeremy 
Kilpatrick, from JRME Vol. 32 (4) pp. 421-427: "Where's the Evidence?"