Rigor and Relevance: Testing a Model of Enhanced Math Learning in Career and Technical Education

Publication James R. Stone III, Corinne Alfeld, and Donna PearsonJuly 2008

Numerous high school students, including many who are enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) courses, do not have the math skills necessary for today’s high-skill workplace or college entrance requirements. This study tests a model for enhancing mathematics instruction in five high school CTE programs (agriculture, auto technology, business and marketing, health, and information technology). The model includes a pedagogy and intense teacher professional development. Volunteer CTE teachers were randomly assigned to an experimental (n = 59) or control (n = 78) group. The experimental teachers worked with math teachers to develop CTE instructional activities that integrated more mathematics into the occupational curriculum. After 1 year of the math-enhanced CTE lessons, students in the experimental classrooms performed equally on technical skills and significantly better than control students on two standardized tests of math ability (TerraNova and ACCUPLACER®). 

Stone, J. R. III, Alfeld, C., & Pearson, D. (2008). Rigor and relevance: Testing a model of enhanced math learning in career and technical education. American Educational Research Journal, 45(3), 767-795.

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