Author: Covay, Elizabeth

Title: Classroom Composition and Racial Differences in Opportunities to Learn

University Affiliation: University Of Pennsylvania


Research Question: How much variation is there in topic coverage and use of instructional tasks among advanced mathematical courses with the same title? To what extent is there classroom level variation and conditioning on classroom level minority composition for courses of the same title?

Published: No

Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation: N/A

Journal Entry: N/A

Year: 2012


  1. Math teachers of Trigonometry, on average, spend 18% of their time covering topics of trigonometry. The range is from a low of 5% to a high of 45%. All teachers of Trigonometry spend at least 20% of their time asking students to perform procedures. 14% of Trigonometry teachers ask students to spend the instructional time demonstrating what they learned.
  2. The average advanced math teacher spends the largest part of his/her instructional time covering functions (14%). The range of instructional time spent on memorization is 0-78. The range of instructional time spent on demonstration of understanding is 1-97%.
  3. Math teachers of Calculus spend the most time emphasizing analysis. 37% of time in Calculus is spent on the topic of analysis. Calculus Teachers spend 22% of his/her time asking students to complete instructional tasks- perform procedures, demonstrate understanding, and solve non routine problems.
  4. Trigonometry teachers spend more time on trigonometry in predominately white classrooms, 21% compared to 12%, than in a classroom with a minority racial composition. Math teachers of classroom with predominately white racial compositions spend more time asking students to create and solve non routine problems than in predominately black classrooms.
  5. Teachers of Advanced Math with a minority racial composition and with mixed/low achievement levels spend significantly less instructional time on operations, measurement, geometric concepts, and advanced geometry compared to math teachers of Advanced Math with a of predominately white racial composition and with average/high achievement levels.

Scholarship Type Unpublished Research

Keywords: Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, African American, Instruction, Math, SES, Teachers

Regions National

Methodologies: Quantitative

Research Designs: Secondary Data, Survey

Method of Analysis: Descriptive Statistics, Regression

Sampling Frame: Survey of Enacted Curriculum

Sample Types: Random

Unit of Analysis: Classroom

Data Types: Quantitative

Data Description: - Mathematics Survey of the Enacted Curriculum (SEC) – 10,000 – DV (Organization of the learning environment) – IV Topic coverage, instructional tasks )


Entry Created at: 2015-02-05 16:09:11 UTC
Last Update: 2016-07-27 13:40:22 UTC