Students’ difficulties in mathematics and science
- Poverty and the associated disadvantages caused by low parental educational level, nutrition and health risks, low social support, and lack of community resources (LeCompte & Dworkin, 1991; National Research Council, 1993).
- A lack of fit between social skills acquired at home and the expectations of the school (Taylor, 1991).
- Strategies that ignore learning styles which respond better to holistic instruction (rather than fragmented, rote learning) and a lack of kinesthetic and tactile instructional materials (Battista, 1994; Means & Knapp, 1991).
- Strengths in interpersonal and oral communication that are not utilized in traditional mathematics instruction (Means & Knapp, 1991; Taylor, 1991).
- Lack of concrete, experience-based instruction (Means & Knapp, 1991).
- Home disadvantages that compound summer losses in achievement (Entwisle & Alexander, 1992).
- School practices that assign minority students in at-risk situations to the poorest teachers (LeCompte & Dworkin, 1991; National Research Council, 1993).
- The need for additional help in understanding mathematics—help that is not available at home (Entwisle & Alexander, 1992).
- Peer pressure against academic success (Clark, 1991).
- The inadequate preparation of elementary teachers to teach mathematics in a creative way (Battista, 1994).
Battista, M. T. (1994). Teacher beliefs and the reform movement in mathematics. Phi Delta Kappan, 75(6), 462-470.
Clark, M. L. (1991). Social identity, peer relations, and academic competence in African-American adolescents. Education and Urban Society, 24(1), 41-52.
Entwisle, D. R., & Alexander, K. L. (1992). Summer setback: Race, poverty, school composition, and mathematics achievement in the first two years of school. American Sociological Review, 57(1), 72-84.
LeCompte, M. D., & Dworkin, A. G. (1991). Giving up on school. Newbury Park, CA: Corwin Press.
Means, B., & Knapp, M. S. (1991). Cognitive approaches to teaching advanced skills to educationally disadvantaged students. Phi Delta Kappan, 73(4), 282-289.
National Research Council. (1993). Losing generations: Adolescents in high-risk settings. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Taylor, A. R. (1991). Social competence and early school transition: Risk and protective factors for African-American children. Education and Urban Society, 24(1), 15-26.