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IMPACTful Thoughts - Engagement via Enriching Aha Moments

By Barbara Leitherer posted 02-01-2021 07:56:29


This month we continue our theme of student engagement where we left off in January. “How can we find innovative ways to engage students in and out of the classroom, as well as engage faculty in the pursuit of improving the teaching and learning of mathematics?” (IMPACT, p. 50).  

With a pandemic raging over our heads impacting the physical and economic well-being of billions of people, we are forced to see this health crisis as a large scale global problem. If we want to integrate global perspectives into the mathematics classroom in the first two years of college, then we need to be intentional. Global learning does not happen overnight. It will take some practice to acquire global and cultural skills, and therefore we must view global learning as a lifelong process. It requires exposing students over a longer period of time to engage with and reinforce concepts. Rather than seeing knowledge as disparate pieces of information, students will need to focus on the whole interconnected picture. 

(Source: NAFSA Global Learning Lab, 2019 national Conference)

With a globalized curriculum, faculty can provide opportunities that allow students to make conscious connections between their coursework, their personal experiences, and the wider world (NAFSA Global Learning Lab, 2019 national conference). This prepares students to address real world problems of multi-layered complexity.

Sometimes it only takes a foreign or exotic element to spark curiosity among students, and at other times it is a meaningful project or a service learning experience that transforms them.

In the coming weeks, we will explore stories of International Mathematicians, share travel related math problems, and provide links to webinars. We will also give tips on designing a globalized mathematics course and aligning it with a syllabus.