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Title: A guide for two-year college faculty to research published in the Journal of Statistics and Data Science Education Author: Nicholas J. Horton, Amherst College The AMATYC IMPACT Live report quotes Szent-Gyorgyi (1957) as saying: “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.” The Journal of Statistics and Data Science Education (formerly the Journal of Statistics Education) was founded in 1993 as a venue to share high-quality papers on statistics education along with wisdom, guidance, and best practices about statistics and data science pedagogy. It was established as and remains an ...
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Much attention is given to helping students develop ownership of their learning. It is equally important to keep faculty ownership in focus. That is why this month’s planning team from the Statistics ANet chose to develop our month around suggestions and conversations among statistics faculty who regularly engage in these activities as well as faculty looking for new ideas. We invite you to look around and join the weekly discussions aimed at increasing an instructor’s sense of ownership. IMPACT (2018) suggests three areas where faculty can take ownership in their introductory statistics courses: Creating a learning environment, Taking an ...
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This month the focus is on ownership of learning which affects both faculty and students. So, what are the key components that successful professors use to lead students through the process of owning their learning? One such factor relates to a discovery-oriented approach which guides students through well laid-out investigations to help with solving problems or analyzing data (IMPACT, p.31). The goal should be to involve students in more robust learning that challenges them to” think about their own thinking that they tried to understand ideas for themselves; that they attempt to reason with concepts and information they encountered, …., and to relate ...
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GEORGE HURLBURT George Hurlburt from SUNY Corning CC in New York, is the new President-Elect. George served as the AMATYC Website Coordinator for 10 years, and the NE Representative to ITLC for 12 years. He served for 9 years on the NYSMATYC Board, including two terms as President. He was also the conference coordinator for the NYSMATYC 40th Conference and 50th Conference. On a personal note, George has 3 children, two adult sons and a daughter in high school. He enjoys bike riding in the summer and downhill skiing in the winter. AJ STACHELEK AJ Stachelek from Hostos CC, CUNY in the South Bronx is the new Northeast Vice President. AJ served ...
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Focus on Collaboration: History of the National Mathematics Summit Back in 2012, developmental mathematic redesign movement was sweeping the country. Faculty across the country were wondering what the impact would be in their classrooms. At the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) conference held in Orlando that year, Paul Nolting and Hunter Boylan, then director of the National Center on Developmental Education (NCDE), discussed a possible joint summit with AMATYC. They knew that there were many parts of the puzzle and that there was a need to bring experts from different organizations together to share ideas. At the NADE conference ...
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As we imagine the learning of mathematics as an active and engaging experience for students, we need to leverage what we know from research which encourages the use of student thinking to guide instruction. Instructional strategies, such as the use of “vertical non-permanent surfaces” (VNPS) as promoted in Building Thinking Classrooms by Peter Liljedahl, provide an essential window into student thinking. So, what does it mean to use student thinking when teaching? And in what ways can student thinking guide instruction? Let’s explore a traditional task first and then discuss thoughts on these questions. Consider the following task: ...
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You open the door to the classroom and your initial reaction is shock. It seems that chaos reigns as you notice students out of their seats as they talk with one another. Furthermore, the desks are not neatly arranged in rows, but seem to be randomly clustered into small groups as the students use the desk tops to set up laptop computers connected to microphones used for collecting data. Students are recording their work on the white boards that surround the room. Where is the teacher? You are not sure. Concerned with the outward appearance of this classroom, you enter the classroom to investigate. You stop at the first group of students and try to figure ...
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What are some of your common frustrations about student performance in your classes? Maybe students aren’t putting in the time necessary to struggle with problems and understand concepts. Or they provide surface-level responses to your questions that were designed to make them think more deeply and make connections. Perhaps you just want students to be more precise with their notation or vocabulary when writing or speaking about mathematics. The root of many of these issues is a lack of engagement. If students are going through the motions that they’ve learned through years of school will get them a passing grade, they are not engaged and we will see that ...
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The traditional mathematics class is a “teacher-telling” environment where the students listen and watch the instructor perform mathematics. The student’s role is to take notes in class, review them outside class, and complete homework assignments. People taught in this manner can succeed in their courses by simply memorizing and “mimicking” the behavior of the instructor, yet these strategies will rarely succeed at the collegiate level in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses. A great challenge with first-year college students is helping them realize that mathematics is not about formulas and procedures, but rather it should be focused ...
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AMATYC defines “mathematics intensive” courses as those taught in the first two years of collegiate study that lead to advanced work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our mathematics intensive network focuses on courses such as college algebra, precalculus, calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra. These require development of abilities in problem solving, modeling, reasoning, connecting to other disciplines, communicating, and using technology, which are the goals student learning outcomes as defined in AMATYC’s (1995) Crossroads in Mathematics. Similarly, the National Research Council (2001) defines proficiency as reflecting ...
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Authors: Michael Caparula and Eric Hutchinson The IMPACT document presents a number of items that The Mathematics Intensive Committee has interest in. However, for this month, we will be focusing on statements in the Proficiency chapter. Our committee looks at the objectives and pedagogies of the upper-level courses such as College Algebra, Calculus I, II, III, Calculus for Business, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra. Proficiency is vital for all students in math courses, however, these students will be integrating mathematics (with and without technology) in their profession whether it’s in engineering, actuary science, chemistry, ...
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How Do YOU Define the Idea of Rigor in Mathematics Education? Suppose you heard a colleague say, “Today’s math lesson is very rigorous!” What does it mean to label a lesson as “rigorous?” What would YOUR thoughts be if you heard someone claim that a lesson was rigorous? Take a moment to think about YOUR meaning for the idea of “rigor” in mathematics. The University of Texas Charles A. Dana Center reports four commonly held viewpoints on rigor in the mathematics classroom: View 1: Use of logical deductions from stated hypotheses to prove theorems View 2: Adhering to traditionally prescribed content including a long list of ...
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After the unveiling of AMATYC’s IMPACT document, a group of AMATYC members recognized the need to help two-year colleges meet the vision in the IMPACT document and the two previous standards documents. Considering the magnitude of this endeavor, it was decided that the best course of action was to apply for a large National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The outcome was the $2.9 million NSF grant, Teaching for PROWESS, that just started its second year of work. In Phase 1 of the project we are working with two community colleges, Clackamas Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College, to support them in increasing their use of active ...
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When you read the following three statements, “(1) Experience. (2) Student experience . (3) Student experience in mathematics. “, what do you notice and what do you wonder? One might wonder how a framework of PROWESS relates to the student experience in mathematics. For example, “when students take initiative of their own learning” (AMATYC, 2018, p. 32) what experiences in mathematics allowed for that opportunity to happen? Maybe the student experience was a positive one that showed how their thinking belongs in mathematics. Yet, negative experiences in mathematics can easily become powerful moments that carry on as a long-lasting, hurtful ...
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Differential equations is an important component of mathematics curricula for STEM majors. Students at my institution often find Differential Equations class as a "capstone" course of the first two years of college mathematics that they complete as part of their STEM degrees such as engineering. I believe that it is important to learn to think creatively and logically and see the connection of real-world context in mathematics curriculum. This is particularly important for opening doors to STEM majors, and retaining STEM students. I try to connect the class material to real world scenarios that encompass the course curriculum's conceptual understanding. Engaging ...
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I wanted to understand what I could do as an educator in my own classroom to meet students where they are and use different pedagogical methods to guide them towards not only an understanding but an appreciation of the concepts behind statistics. My introductory statistics students complete a project that uses data they collect. Following the project, students are asked to give feedback on their experience with the project. A comment from a student on their reflection and feedback caused me to pause. The student shared that before they had taken my course they believed all statistics used in research and science were skewed or, even worse, completely made up ...
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“I have taken [learning] into my own hands to actually go back and see where I struggled…” Developmental mathematics is an important area of teaching and learning. I am an Adult Educator, and I teach pre-college mathematics courses in the Transitional Studies department at Clark College. My students enroll in contextualized mathematics courses as they get ready for college and gain job skills that prepare them for academic programs and high wage jobs. Students often enter Transitional Studies courses with previous academic experiences that were not successful, and sometimes traumatic. The student experience in my classes must support their mathematical ...
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We grow in our teaching when we listen, ask questions and investigate what happens in our classrooms and in our students’ learning. This commitment to be a lifelong learner keeps us evergreen in our teaching, and revitalizes us as educators. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is faculty inquiry that investigates questions about the relationship between student learning and their own teaching. It is contextualized and unique to individual classrooms, a faculty member’s teaching and their students’ learning. Findings are peer-reviewed and shared for others to build upon, and SoTL collectively builds a robust foundation of community knowledge ...
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Project ACCCESS definitely had an impact on my academic career. I began teaching high school mathematics after leaving a corporate job and immediately discovered a hidden passion for teaching math. Although my new career paid astronomically less than my previous job, it was shockingly more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined. I quickly learned, however, that the high school environment required many different non-teaching responsibilities that ended up not being a good fit for me. I just wanted to teach math and hoped that my students would have an inkling of interest in what I was teaching. While working this job full-time, I taught mathematics ...
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A decade ago Katherine Hughes and Judith Scott-Clayton, at the time with the Community College Research Center (CCRC), published an article describing the challenges of a single assessment for placement purposes. The work included a future research recommendation to review an alternative approach, one that would take advantage of multiple measures to place students into English and mathematics courses (Hughes & Scott-Clayton, 2011). As Hughes and Scott-Clayton noted back in 2011, creating a new model of placement has not been without challenges. How do you define multiple measures? How long are metrics valid as a placement tool? How do you collect and ...
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