Presentation Title

A Comparison of the Human and STEM Career Presence in a Common Core- Aligned vs. a Traditional Precalculus Textbook

Presenter Information

Priscilla MartinezFollow

Faculty Mentor

Alison Marzocchi

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

142

Session

poster 4

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

education

Abstract

The goal of this research project is to compare the human presence in two precalculus textbooks from a high school district in Orange County in order to identify the representation of women, people of color, and STEM careers in each book. We chose to focus on precalculus because more students take precalculus compared to calculus and it may be taken during the time where students are making big decisions like deciding on college and career options. One textbook that we analyzed was a Common Core-aligned textbook while the other was a more traditional textbook. The sections we analyzed were Trigonometry, because it has many real-life applications, and Introduction to Calculus, because students who choose to continue their mathematical career will have additional exposure to calculus. We collected data by investigating each problem within the sections and coding them based upon our hierarchical coding scheme. This included identifying whether the problem had context, humans present, named humans, gendered humans, STEM-career contexts, and other conditions. From this data we discovered that the Common Core-aligned textbook had higher rates of problems with context, problems with humans present, and problems with named humans. However, the traditional book outperformed the Common Core-aligned book with female representation and representation of STEM careers. This research has implications for school districts in choosing textbooks and for publishers in considering realistic and diverse representation of humans using mathematics within their textbook exercises.

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Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM Nov 23rd, 11:30 AM

A Comparison of the Human and STEM Career Presence in a Common Core- Aligned vs. a Traditional Precalculus Textbook

142

The goal of this research project is to compare the human presence in two precalculus textbooks from a high school district in Orange County in order to identify the representation of women, people of color, and STEM careers in each book. We chose to focus on precalculus because more students take precalculus compared to calculus and it may be taken during the time where students are making big decisions like deciding on college and career options. One textbook that we analyzed was a Common Core-aligned textbook while the other was a more traditional textbook. The sections we analyzed were Trigonometry, because it has many real-life applications, and Introduction to Calculus, because students who choose to continue their mathematical career will have additional exposure to calculus. We collected data by investigating each problem within the sections and coding them based upon our hierarchical coding scheme. This included identifying whether the problem had context, humans present, named humans, gendered humans, STEM-career contexts, and other conditions. From this data we discovered that the Common Core-aligned textbook had higher rates of problems with context, problems with humans present, and problems with named humans. However, the traditional book outperformed the Common Core-aligned book with female representation and representation of STEM careers. This research has implications for school districts in choosing textbooks and for publishers in considering realistic and diverse representation of humans using mathematics within their textbook exercises.