Publication Date

Fall 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Janet Tassell (Director), Kimberlee Everson and Kristin Wilson

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


For many institutions, especially community colleges, college algebra has been the default mathematics or quantitative reasoning requirement. However, the topics that have been taught in college algebra, teaching methods, and the goals of a quantitative reasoning requirement have changed and vary over time and among different institutions. Because of history, policy, and political influences, this study sought to explore commonalities and disparities of college algebra as it has evolved through the University of Kentucky. The three central research questions were What have been the common topics or themes of the competencies and topics covered in CA over the years at UK? (RQ1), What internal forces have led to topic coverage or attribute changes in CA? (RQ2), and How has QR evolved at UK? (RQ3).

Through a review of literature, common topics were discovered among Kentucky college algebra course descriptions. These commonalities were used as a foundation by which, through the qualitative lens of historical methods, the history of college algebra was measured and studied. The origins and motivations for these changes were explored using multiple sources of data.


Higher Education | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Other History | Science and Mathematics Education