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Project SLOPE
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Project SLOPE is a 3-year research and faculty development project sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF IUSE:EHR #1726891) beginning in August 2017 and concluding in July 2020.

Phase 1: Research and Design
                August 2017               July 2018

                               August 2018                                                                        July 2020
                               Phase 2: Develop, Implement and Evaluate AMATYC Research
                                              Associate Program Pilot


Project SLOPE is currently in its first phase of implementation consisting of a feasibility study focused on two research questions:

  1. What are the needs, barriers and potential opportunities for two-year college faculty engaged in classroom research as a form of sustained professional development?
  2. What are the related organizational systems that impact these needs, barriers and outcomes?

The feasibility study will cumulate in the design of a pilot research program for two-year college mathematics faculty within AMATYC.

 The second phase of Project SLOPE will center on the development, implementation and evaluation of the Research Associate Program pilot.

Project Abstract

Two-year colleges maintain a central and rapidly expanding role in the development of the scientific and technical workforce in the United States. Current change efforts targeted towards student success and progression in two-year college mathematics have provided momentum for improvement. However, teaching and learning practices within mathematics classrooms has proved difficult to change and sustain due to a lack of a research base surrounding best practices within the unique contexts of  two-year college mathematics classrooms. Two-year college faculty are uniquely positioned to provide insight into the varieties of prior mathematical experiences and practical understandings that their students bring to classrooms and thus can play a central and meaningful role in the development of the scholarship needed to support lasting change. Crucially, research conducted by practitioners for practitioners holds the promise of immediate relevance and great impact for the development and growth of empirically based improvement efforts.

This exploratory project will provide the foundation for developing two-year college mathematics faculty researchers engaged in classroom inquiry through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). SoTL has been demonstrated to be a transformative practice of simultaneous knowledge generation, professional development and teaching and learning advancement in postsecondary education, but has not been comprehensively examined within the unique contexts of two-year college mathematics.

This project will address the research gap surrounding two-year college mathematics faculty SoTL research by first conducting a critical analysis of existing programming and literature that focuses on the intersection of SoTL, two-year college faculty research and mathematics education research in postsecondary contexts. Central to this inquiry will be an examination of the relationship between faculty researcher needs and the structures of two-year colleges. Following the needs, barriers and opportunities assessment, the outcomes of the assessment will be used to design and develop a pilot national program initiative to engage two-year college mathematics faculty in SoTL research. The pilot program will be a fifteen month comprehensive faculty associateship within the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges that provides training in SoTL, as well as support in undertaking this scholarship and in navigating the structures of two-year colleges that might pose challenges to engaging in SoTL. In this pilot program, six two-year college mathematics faculty will implement a SoTL project in their classroom and plan for the dissemination of the results. The pilot will be evaluated to refine its design to meet the needs of participants and to allow for future expansion of the program and related programs.

  Project SLOPE is a collaborative effort among AMATYC, Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Florida International University. Support for Project SLOPE is provided by the National Science Foundation NSF-IUSE:EHR #1726891. 

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