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Stem Cognitive Developmental Tutoring Method

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Creative Engagement and Developmental Tutoring Method

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1097.1 - 13.1097.7



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Paper Authors

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Cecil Shy Prairie View A&M University

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James Northern Prairie View A&M University

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Veda Brown Prairie View A&M University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

STEM Cognitive Developmental Tutoring Method Abstract

The purpose of the Cognitive Developmental Method is to help provide students with the most resourceful and unique mentoring/tutoring experience. The STEM mentors have constructed a tutoring method that compensates the need for cognitive communal and educational development of STEM students from diverse backgrounds. Combined theories from distinguished professors serve as the underlying factors for our concept reasoning. The Cognitive Developmental Method exposes students to both the conceptual and the practical applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our overall goal is to enhance the STEM student’s performance by isolating the various components in the delivery/retrieval processes of mathematical theories via concept discussions, highly enforced problem application, peer-peer subgroups, and constructive learning-centered activities.

I. Introduction

The STEM Summer Bridge Program is part of a National Science Foundation HBCU-UP [1] grant awarded to Prairie View A&M University. The Summer Bridge Program is an excellent way for incoming freshmen to transition into college life. The STEM Summer Bridge Program selects motivated students who plan to major in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. Participants spend eight-weeks during the summer, on Prairie View A&M University campus, and can earn up to 11 hours of college credit.

Growing up, students memorize how to solve different types of problems. Often times, however, college courses and personal circumstances have a much wider variety of problems that students have to figure out to solve by themselves. The Bridge Program emphasizes the skills essential to any field of study – simple problem-solving, programming, critical thinking and mathematical skills.

Problem-solving skills help students understand a problem, create steps to solve that problem, and finally, following those steps to get an answer. Problem-solving is very helpful in breaking a big problem into smaller, easier portions. Problem-solving is useful for well-structures problems for which solutions can be derived in the form of a formula. Other problems have structure but require programming to solve them, and hence programming is essential to solving some of the problems students encounter. Many problems in real life are complicated, without discernable structure. This is where critical thinking comes in, providing students the reasoning to solve a wider range of problems. In addition to these essential skills for college success, the Bridge Program also strengthens mathematical skills to prepare students for college level courses.

During the past few weeks of the STEM 2007 mentoring sessions we noticed via weekly exams that a portion of the students within the program were having distinct difficulties with the algebraic concepts. We initially integrated each student’s problem from an objective point of view stating that they simply needed more problem-oriented help. However, after consulting with students, various professors, and STEM mentors about plausible reasons as to why students may not be maximizing their potential, we arrived at the following conclusion, that students

Shy, C., & Northern, J., & Brown, V. (2008, June), Stem Cognitive Developmental Tutoring Method Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4486

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