Application of Values Affirmation Intervention in Undergraduate Pre-Calculus Courses
Keywordsidentity engagement model
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMany students begin college intending to pursue STEM careers. However, many abandon this goal because they struggle with the requisite mathematics. This may be especially true for women due to stereotype threat. To address this issue, I tested the effectiveness of a brief values affirmation intervention in 29 sections of pre-calculus (N = 467 U.S. undergraduate students). All students prioritized 11 values (e.g., sense of humor, relations with friends/family, social skills, athletics, physical attractiveness). Then, participants either wrote about why their most important value mattered to them (values affirmation condition) or why their ninth value might be important to others (control condition). The intervention was administered twice, in Week 2 and Week 4, during the 12-week course. Results failed to support the benefits of values affirmation. Although values affirmations may benefit student learning and retention in many disciplines (e.g., physics, biology, engineering), values affirmation interventions may prove ineffective in undergraduate mathematics courses.
Degree ProgramGraduate College