Addressing prerequisite mathematics needs— a case study in introductory economics

Jerry Evensky, Duke Kao, Qing Yang, Remi Fadele, Richard Fenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In the development of an individual's education, skills developed at one stage are prerequisites for success at the next stage. Within the domain of mathematics there are many such sequential relationships in skill development and, more broadly, mathematical skills are often prerequisites for success in subsequent content-area courses. Unfortunately, many content-area teachers simply assume a level of math skills and then bemoan the failure of their students, or teach to the lowest common denominator, or refer apparently weak students to alternative courses. In this piece we offer another model for addressing prerequisite mathematics needs. It is one in which a small set of prerequisite skills for the content course (in our case, introductory economics) are identified, this set is assessed, and students at the margin are tuned up for success. We believe this model is a more efficient and effective way of dealing with mathematical skill needs in content area courses. Our model is described and the results of empirical testing of its success are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Applied Mathematics


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