**MATH 300-07 -Mathematics Pedagogy **

Fall, 2004

University of Connecticut

Neag School of Education

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

**Time**: Monday 4:00-5:30, MSB 118

**Meeting Dates** : August 8, September 8,15,22,29, October 13,20,27,
November 10, 17

**Professors** Tom DeFranco, Jean McGivney-Burelle, Chuck Vinsonhaler

** Text**: A Handbook for Mathematics Teaching Assistants, by Thomas
W. Rishel

Chuck Vinsonhaler

Office: MSB 316

Phone: 486-3944

E-mail: vinsonhaler@math.uconn.edu

Web Page: http://www.math.uconn.edu/~vinsonhaler/

Office Hours: MWF 10, and by appointment

Thomas C. DeFranco, Ph.D. defranco@uconnvm.uconn.edu

486-3815

Jean McGivney-Burelle, Ph.D. mcgivney@uconnvm.uconn.edu

486-0288

Course Description

This course will provide students a foundation on theories of teaching
and learning mathematics along with an understanding of current research
trends influencing mathematics education. Special emphasis will be given
to the NCTM Standards, the MAA Recommendations on College Teaching and current
instructional techniques and strategies and ways to implement them in the
college mathematics curriculum.

Objectives

a) Students will gain an understanding of how the mathematics curriculum
has developed and evolved from an historical and psychological perspective
and ways in which various learning theories/theorists have impacted and
influenced the teaching of mathematics.

b) Students will be exposed to models of teaching and examine the role of domain knowledge, epistemology, pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment in teaching.

c) Students will explore ways to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics by understanding and applying learning theories impacting the field of mathematics education

d) Students will examine innovative ways to teach mathematics at the college level as outlined by NCTM and the MAA .

Evaluation

Reflective Journal
35%

Critique and Response
35%

Class Participation
30%

Assignments

**Journal Entries**

Journals should provide an opportunity for students to reflect on and
analyze their experiences during this course. You will be required to submit
two (2) journal entries. Each entry (3-4 pages) should illustrate your ability
to reflect on and analyze the assigned readings or the activities encountered
in class or both. In addition, your writing should reflect ideas that you
believe to be significant in your own teaching, assessing or learning of
mathematical problem solving. Each journal should be typed and you will be
graded on your ability to reflect on the situation--NOT on your ability to
describe the situation.

**Critique and Response**

Working in pairs each student will be required to make a classroom observation
and write a critique of their partners teaching. The critique should be constructive
and based on the principles of teaching discussed in class. The partner
being critiqued should then reflect on the review and write a response to
the critique. The response should address each point raised in the critique
and ways you would change your teaching based on the critique. The critique
should be typed and handed in as part of your final grade. Be prepared to
discuss your response to the critique of your own teaching.

**Class Participation**

Be prepared to lead a discussion of one of the assigned readings. In addition
each student should be prepared to discuss and comment on the readings assigned
for each class.

Date
Topics

8/25 Participant Introductions

Principles Of Good Practice
For Teaching

Activity-Teacher Knowledge
Base

9/18 Learning Theory

Activity- A Private Universe

Activity- historical Perspectives on the Psychology
of Mathematics for Instruction

10/2 Domain Knowledge

Procedural and Conceptual Knowledge

Pedagogy

Large Group / Small Group Instruction

Cooperative Learning

Curriculum (MAA)

Activity-Create a Course Syllabus

Activity – Commuter Problem

10/16 Assessment and Student Presentations

Altemative Assessment

Scoring Rubric

Writing Assignments

Activity-Grading Exams, Grading Group Projects

10/23 Reflection and Student Presentations

Activity-Student Presentations

Revisit POGPFT

**ADDITIONAL MATERIAL**

What is most important for new TA's to learn? (Generated by a group
activity)

1. Communication skills

2. Adequate Preparation

3. How to be clear about goals and expectations

4. Balancing teaching and your own studies

5. How to give and receive feedback, learn from mistakes.

Results of TA's classroom observation of each other.

Things done well - items most frequently mentioned.

1. Good eye contact, clear speaking

2. Good use of board

3. Quick review to begin class

4. Well organized, good examples

5. Experiments with small groups and other non-lecture methods

Things needing work - items most frequently mentioned

1. More eye contact, speak louder and more clearly

2. Respond more directly and encouragingly to questions

3. Involve students in discussion

4. Write all important information on the board, carefully

The Basics: PRACTICE

C. Vinsonhaler

Fall, 2000

**P**repare

**R**eflect

**A**ctive Learning

**C**ommunicate

**T**alk to good Teachers

**I**ndividuals

**C**ommunicate

**E**xperiment

**Prepare**. This is one thing EVERYONE can do, and is arguably
the most important component of good teaching practice.

- Decide what is important and emphasize it
- Think about where students will get hung up (Reflect!)
- Know how to do homework problems
- Think about props, examples, activities that will bring the material to life (Communicate!)

- Before class you can incorporate reflection into your preparation, as above.
- Right after class is an excellent time to ask yourself how you could have improved what went on.

- You must assign and grade homework, or at least give quizzes on the homework.
- You should encourage student participation during classroom time in any way you can.
- Calling on a student by name is much more effective than a generic Are there any questions? “Pat, what bothers you about this equation.”

- Talk loudly
- Write large, write often, write neatly. Leave important material on a board at the side.
- STOP – Single Thought One Person. Look one individual in the eye as you make a point, then move on. Too much eye contact can make a listener nervous.
- Repeat yourself. Emphasize the important points by making them again, in as many different ways as possible.

- Good teachers care about their students;
- Good teachers are happy to discuss teaching, happy to have you visit their classes;
- Good teachers are good teachers – you will learn good teaching from them.

- Learn your students’ names: (1) make notes on your class list; (2) be in class 5 minutes early and talk to them
- Automathography. During the first week, have your students write a 1-2 page letter telling you about their math backgrounds, some personal details that distinguish them as individuals, and their goals and expectations for the course.

- Goals, expectations, clear assignments
- Feedback – grade homework and tests promptly.
- Encourage all answers – we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.

Another view of teaching mathematics can be found at:

www.math.uiuc.edu/~reznick/ciu.html

References

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