Rural High School Teachers’ Perceptions of Teaching and Learning When Using an Integrated Mathematics Curriculum
The primary goal of this interpretive study was to add more teachers’ perspectives, specifically from rural high schools in Tennessee, to the sparse research focused on transitioning and teaching integrated high school mathematics. This study was prompted by a recent change in the teaching of mathematics from a traditional curriculum to an integrated curriculum in the middle Tennessee area. Previous research has focused on teacher perceptions, student perceptions, and student achievement scores when using an integrated mathematics curriculum. Bowzer (2008) found several factors both negatively and positively affected the transition to integrated mathematics including testing pressures and limited preparation time. The research question in this study was: What were rural high school Tennessee mathematics teachers’ perspectives regarding integrated mathematics and how it had impacted teaching and learning in their classroom? The researcher interviewed 3 teachers individually, conducted a focus group interview, and analyzed lesson plans they shared. Preliminary analysis shows a need for more professional development focused on specific teaching strategies for integrated mathematics as well as better aligned textbooks and resources to meet the needs of integrated mathematics teaching.