The mathematical education of teachers one university s approach
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The Mathematical Education of Teachers: One University’s Approach. Dr. Cecelia Laurie Dr. Julie Herron University of Alabama. Math Content Courses at UA. NCLB Education requirement: 12 credits of math content Collaboration between Arts & Science and Education

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The Mathematical Education of Teachers: One University’s Approach

Dr. Cecelia Laurie

Dr. Julie Herron

University of Alabama


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Math Content Courses at UA

  • NCLB Education requirement: 12 credits of math content

  • Collaboration between Arts & Science and Education

  • Spring 2003 began development of a three-semester sequence of mathematics content courses for pre-service elementary school teachers

    • Math 208 – Number and Operations

    • Math 209 – Geometry and Measurement

    • Math 210 – Algebra, Data Analysis, and Probability.

  • Follow national recommendations: Prospective teachers need mathematics courses that develop a deep understanding of the mathematics they will teach – Mathematical Education of Teachers, CBMS, 2000


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COURSE THEMES

  • Explain the why, not just the how

  • Activity Based

  • Multiple representations and strategies

  • Connections

  • Communication


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STRUCTURE

  • Taught by regular faculty, beginning to involve full time instructors

  • 32 students per class

  • Classroom set-up: tables with 4 students at a table

  • 3 sections of Math 208, 2 sections of Math 209, 1 section of Math 210 per semester


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The Elementary Education Program

  • Students take one math methods course

  • 12 semester hours of math is required


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Math Course for ELED Majors

  • 135 Respondents in the 07-08 school year

  • 85% of those students took a least one math course designed for elementary education majors

  • It is recommended that our students take these courses but it is not required.


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Math Course for ELED Majors

  • What are the ELED majors taking

  • 2 course students-What they took


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What ELED Majors Have to Say

  • “Math 208 and 209 deals with conceptual understanding and 380 demonstrates how to teach math.”

  • “The concepts taught in 208 & 209 are different than any math class I have taken before.”

  • “I feel like 208 prepared me for 380 because some of the activities overlapped and it helped me get into the mindset of how kids learn not just thinking about the math.”

  • “I learned how to write my thoughts and processes in Math 208 and 209.”


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What ELED Majors Have to Say

  • “The math classes focused on our perspective as future teachers.”

  • “It is very good to teach concepts. The regular math classes at Alabama only teach procedures. Elementary Education majors NEED this because they have to know how to explain it to kids.”

  • “Those classes helped me to think about how children think about math.”

  • “Before those classes I never thought about the WHY of math. I just DID math.”


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What ELED Majors Have to Say

  • Spring Sections (n=90) were asked “Did 208, 209, or 210 help prepare you for 380?”

    • 5 of the respondents didn’t take any courses at UA


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Implications

  • For the Methods Course:

    • Understand how to explain their mathematical thinking which becomes the foundation for methods

    • Student have begun to think about mathematics rather than just do mathematics

    • Less time on content; More time on pedagogy