The “Journey” Through Developmental Mathematics:
An Analysis of Decision-Making Regarding Attitude and Time Management

by Darrin Berkley

Students enrolled in developmental mathematics will get some concrete advice on attitude and time management. They will analyze their decision-making skills regarding these non-academic factors.

The goal of this pamphlet is to give developmental math students advice regarding the “journey” which consists of the many decisions students make (or don’t make) to succeed.

Throughout this journey will be many occurrences of both joy and frustration. A challenge for these students is channeling their frustration.

The pamphlet should be read sequentially in that the most significant issue will be discussed first. Students should be sure this issue has been addressed before moving to the next.

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This pamphlet reads as if you’re a student sitting in my office. After reading, it’s likely that you will do better in your mathematics courses. I’m not going to provide you with research studies in mathematics education or expect any complex tasks from you. I am going to give simple advice as well as determining the likelihood that the advice will be followed.

Generally, students can begin in different places of the journey starting with the first course of developmental mathematics (Basic Mathematics) to the last course of developmental mathematics (Intermediate Algebra). Throughout this journey will be many occurrences of both joy and frustration. A challenge for these students is how they channel their frustration.

In the math courses that I teach, students are asked about their past and present mathematical experiences. This has allowed me to carefully analyze the decisions that have had the greatest impact on their journey in developmental math.  As community college students deal with many issues impacting their academic abilities, this pamphlet will in no way address every issue that students face. However, it will discuss the issues that are common with most developmental mathematics students.

As with any problem, it will probably require a significant amount of your time to solve. As you’re going through the pamphlet, analyze the decisions that you make as well as the consequences behind your actions.

Finally, if you’re serious about succeeding at this, believe in yourself! Let’s get to work!

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