Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Susan Schramm-Pate

Abstract

To improve teaching practices away from teacher-centered strategies and towardstudentcenteredmethodology based in constructivist and social constructivist theory, the present research study describes six female students’ perceptions of a flipped-model classroom design in an advanced calculus course. In a flipped-model classroom, there is an inversion of the traditional instructional paradigm to move new content instruction outside of the classroom in order to provide time for student engagement in learning activities and interaction with peers during class meeting time. The flipped model enabled the female students to have more time for collaborative practices and application of calculus material, increased the student-participants’ interactions with theteacherresearcher, and required students to take more learning responsibility as they actively engaged with the mathematics content. A qualitative observation design was employed to collect, reflect on, and analyze data as the female students in this advanced calculus course actively learned and collaborated with one another and with their teacher during a four-week unit on limits during the fall of 2017. The primary data set, which included daily informal classroom observations recorded as field notes, waspolyangulatedwith a 20-item questionnaire that was administered mid-way through the advanced calculus limits unit (Mertler, 2014). The data were reflected upon with the six femalestudentparticipantsfollowing the implementation of the flipped model, during a focus group session at the end of the unit. The student-participants initially experienced unease due to inexperience with the flipped classroom model and expressed their preferences for the traditional teacher-centered classroom structure to which they were accustomed. However, as the study progressed, they developed satisfaction with some features of the flipped classroom model and were interested in further investigation of the strategies with future lessons with modifications to the original model used for this study. Data analysis resulted in findings that the flipped classroom model provides ways to increase differentiation of instruction, strategies to improve peer-to-peer collaboration and student-to-teacher interaction, methods to increase student responsibility in learning, and ways to vary student engagement with content material. An action plan was designed to continue with a second phase of inquiry in the spring of 2018 with modifications to the flipped model suggested by the student-participants. The action plan includes sharing the findings of both phases with other mathematics teachers at Eagle High School (EHS) in South Carolina during the in-service dates in June 2018. Using the findings from this research, the mathematics teachers of EHS will work in collaboration as a professional learning community to facilitate educational change for underrepresented female students by creating more conducive environments in advanced mathematics courses using active learning strategies made possible with the flipped classroom model.

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