School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Mastery Goals, Mathematics, Performance Goals, Remedial Education, Self-Efficacy, Utility
Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Science and Mathematics Education
Ireland, Kyle, "Experiencing Success: A Hermeneutic Phenomenology of Successful Remedial Mathematics Students" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1749.
The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to describe how students experience success in mathematics remediation at a four-year private institution in the central United States. Success in a remedial mathematics course was defined as one’s completion of a required remedial mathematics course having earned an overall grade of 90% or higher. The theories guiding this study were achievement goal theory and expectancy-value theory grounded in Bandura’s social cognitive theory. This theoretical framework provided a motivational framework for student success in a post-secondary, remedial mathematics course based on individual goals for completing the task, student self-efficacy beliefs, and the individual task-value beliefs towards the course. A total of 10 participants were included to describe and interpret experiencing success in a remedial mathematics course. Data-collection techniques included the Self-Description Questionnaire III items with open response prompts; audio-recorded focus group interviews; audio-recorded, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews; and audio-recorded follow-up interviews. Analysis took place through thematic isolation via data immersion by the researcher using holistic, selective, and line-by-line approaches as described by van Manen (1990). Significant themes that emerged from data analysis included: (a) previous math outcomes; (b) quality of the teacher prior to remediation; (c) emphasis on academics by influential people; (d) belief in the value of remediation; (e) belief in the value of higher education; (f) sense of community; (g) change in attitude; (h) motivation due to mastery and performance; (i) quality of instructor; (j) exhaustion of available resources; and (k) persistence.