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My university is eliminating its developmental math courses, and moving to a system using corequisite remediation.

I am trying to develop a coreq for the first course in our "Mathematics for Elementary Educators" series. We use Beckmann's book.

I am struggling a bit because we really do build everything "from the ground up" in the regular course, so I do not really see that the course has "pre-requisite" material.

My question is whether anyone is aware of other universities which have developed successful coreqs for these courses.

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    $\begingroup$ Didn't your school have some model or rationale worked out before they made this decision? $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jun 25 '19 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ @BenCrowell This decision was made at a level way above the department. Part of a statewide program: ohiohighered.org/SSTF. $\endgroup$ – Steven Gubkin Jun 25 '19 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ As a comment that I could possibly turn into an answer if asked to, I'll note that I've seen corequisite remediation effectively done at the high school level by having a class focused on simply digging deeper into preconceptions and misconceptions and giving extra, interactive practice in the same material. Think of it as guided practice, designed to suss out misconceptions and build confidence while focusing on the basic parts which the students who are on-level don't need as much time on. I mention this because the mathematical course material is similarly basic to a high school course. $\endgroup$ – Opal E Jun 25 '19 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ What was the (developmental) prerequisite for this course before you moved to coreqs? Did you have a geometry prerequisite, for example? $\endgroup$ – Chris Cunningham Jun 26 '19 at 4:48
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    $\begingroup$ @ChrisCunningham It was an Alex based course which primarily did algebra. $\endgroup$ – Steven Gubkin Jun 26 '19 at 12:00
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I would advocate for arguing for no (de facto, even if not de jure) corequisites for such a course. We don't have any, nor prerequisites, and I think that is the case for a number of institutions in Massachusetts.

This course often is a challenge for some pre-service teachers, to be sure. But I can't think of any course that would bear college credit that would resolve that issue - honestly, not even some of those that cannot bear college credit would do so for the type of content usual in these courses. Properly done, this course often starts to fill in what no prerequisite course can - that is to say, a sense of understanding why mathematics is not just a set of arbitrary rules to memorize. You do need a high-quality and compassionate instructor for this - we have been very fortunate to have someone in that role for many years.

What might sweeten the pot for your administrators is if you were to have a "lab component" or "tutorial" for students who would not meet whatever prerequisite had formerly been in place. (As SvH points out in the comments, this can be formally labeled as a corequisite.) Especially for ones who still have trouble with times tables or kinds of triangles or percents (and I wouldn't be surprised if you had some), that might be a mechanism that satisfies all constituencies while preserving your pedagogical insight that a corequisite as such would be a hindrance.

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    $\begingroup$ And lest anyone start crabbing about people who will teach primary school math without knowing their times tables perfectly (or whatever shibboleth you choose to use), think carefully about the sociocultural context you are assuming. $\endgroup$ – kcrisman Jun 26 '19 at 2:40
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    $\begingroup$ The OP is being forced to do this by administrative mandate. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jun 26 '19 at 23:08
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    $\begingroup$ Correct, but sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease, even in these situations. If one can successfully document there is no such (co-)requisite and that all state standards are fulfilled, as long as the paperwork is right, often functionaries let such things happen. I don't know if that is possible here, but figured it was worth advocating for. $\endgroup$ – kcrisman Jun 27 '19 at 1:01
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    $\begingroup$ What we are calling a corequisite at my college is exactly this - a support lab / tutorial for students who need the extra support. $\endgroup$ – Sue VanHattum Jun 30 '19 at 3:48
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    $\begingroup$ If that is the administrative hurdle you have to jump in order to do the right thing pedagogically, that seems very reasonable. I'll slightly update my answer. $\endgroup$ – kcrisman Jul 1 '19 at 14:01

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