Student Feedback into Common Core Math Instruction

The adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has created quite a bit of media attention offering opinions from parents, teachers and administrators about the new standards and the resulting changes to curriculum. There is limited research on the student perspective. The research question used to guide this study is: What instructional strategies and supports do students perceive are effective in motivating them to succeed in high school Integrated Math classes based on the CCSS? The research defines motivating factors that affect student success such as connecting content to real world situations, student-centered classrooms, group collaboration and frequent formative, process-oriented feedback. The current study uses a survey of students in Integrated Math classes (n=132) including statements with responses on a Likert scale and additional open ended questions. The data was disaggregated by program, Special Education (n=12) and English Language Learners (ELL) (n=11), separating the students who are not receiving services for those programs (n=109) and also by gender, males (n=64) and females (n=68). A t-test for statistical significance was used with a significance level p<.05. The initial findings of the survey indicate that teacher-directed instruction, technology use, elements of student-centered learning, and group collaboration all contribute to the success and motivation of students in Integrated Math classes. ELL students indicate that they want more tools that other populations, females indicate they prefer note-taking more than males, and males are more likely to agree that they would like to start a problem before being told how to do it. Further research is needed to gather information linked to student achievement and gather more data from Special Education and ELL populations.