Pathways to Improvement

Carnegie’s Pathways instructional model addresses not just the structural and curricular problems of traditional developmental math courses, but also the substantial socio-emotional and psychological hurdles many students face. The courses are designed to challenge certain beliefs that many developmental math students share: that they are not “math people,” that “people like me don’t belong here,” and that the class is really not about or for them.

Drawing on a research base developed over many years in education, Carnegie is testing a set of strategies to help students persist and succeed academically. This kind of persistence, what the researchers and faculty who developed the Pathways call “productive persistence,” is a key driver of Quantway™ and Statway™. Broadly defined, productive persistence is the package of skills and tenacity that students need to succeed in an academic setting. These interventions and others, as well as the story of how Carnegie developed this new program of work addressing the alarming failure rates of students in developmental mathematics are covered in this report, Pathways to Improvement: Using Psychological Strategies to Help College Students Master Developmental Math, by Carnegie Washington, D.C. office staffers, Elena Silva and Taylor White. 

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