Jeff Kosovich, a graduate student at the University of Virginia (UVa), and a researcher at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) published a blog post on the Carnegie Commons Blog entitled ‘Adapting Value and Mindset Interventions to the Community College Setting’. The entry is part of his work for the Carnegie Alpha Lab Research Network, launched by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2012. The goal of the research network is to improve community college students’ success in developmental mathematics learning. The researchers at the lab help students see the value and usefulness of math in their lives and also change their beliefs about their ability to learn math. Research shows that college students who have had negative experiences with math in the past, generally think math is either useless or they can’t do it. Kosovich explains in his blog entry that these students, who report negative attitudes towards math, also display less persistence and poorer performance in school. The opposite is also true. In other words; having good math skills and the right mindset towards math has a positive outcome on school performance and future life. Or, as Kosovich puts it: ‘By decreasing course drop rates, increasing math interest, and increasing pass rates, we are providing developmental math students with an opportunity to overcome past academic barriers and move forward in their academic and life pursuits’.
Kosovich, named a pre-doctorate fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for 2013-2014, is being co-mentored by Carnegie fellow and associate professor at CASTL Chris Hulleman and Sara Rimm-Kaufman, professor and Director of the Social Development Lab at CASTL.