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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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Co-written by members of the AMATYC Equity Committee - (This was originally posted as a library entry) Urgent calls to reimagine education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have turned into calls for revolutionary change with the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the police killings of unarmed black people. It is time for our field to take concrete action to improve outcomes for black students. Many structures and practices lead to overall lower mathematics attainment for black students and other underrepresented racially minoritized students (e.g., Latinx, Southeast Asian, Native American) in mathematics. These include unequal opportunities ...
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Two major events, the pandemic and multiple measures, have affected how students have been placed into mathematics courses recently. Going forward, there are questions about how the pandemic and multiple measures affect students’ ability to succeed in math courses. As a first step, here are a collection of questions we might contemplate for this month’s discussions. Please join us each week with a new topic: Placement Philosophy and Implementation (week 1) A math placement philosophy states the goal of placement at your college and guides the actions/policies you put in place to meet this goal. Does your college have a placement philosophy, ...
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In many subject areas traditional high-stakes assessment doesn’t give a holistic picture of what knowledge students may have mastered or what students need more time learning. High stakes assessments also overlook deeper learning of content. This discussion focuses on High Impact Practices in an online mathematics course for teacher education majors and how formative assessment and service learning foster positive attitudes towards mathematics. What is considered a High Impact Practice? • A set of practices that have been tested and shown to be beneficial for many college students, particularly in historically underserved student populations. Research ...
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Let me start us off with a little warm up. When you look at this picture, what do you notice? Hold onto what you notice until the end. (Beckmann, 2018) This was a warm up that I used during the past semester in my Mathematics for Elementary Teachers (MFET) classes. This image was on a Jamboard. Students provided their thoughts via sticky notes about what they noticed. Maybe you’re thinking, “yeah that works for Math for Elementary teachers but…” I also used this as a warm up for my Trigonometry class with similar results and will continue to use it (and other “what do you notice”) activities in every math class I teach. Why? Because what happens ...
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According to the IMPACT, faculty can foster student ownership through three tasks: 1) by “providing students with open-ended questions or utilizing inquiry-based learning” allowing students to discover concepts (page 32), 2) by supporting students to develop meaning through productive struggle (page 33), and 3) by providing the “opportunity for transfer of ownership, practice, and application to [the] student” (page 32). In his book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics Peter Liljedahl listed 14 practices teachers can use to increase mathematical thinking by students and thus enhance learning: Types of tasks to use ...
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Happy Anniversary! One year ago IMPACT Live! Spotlight of the Month was launched on myAMATYC. Over the past year we have started many thought-provoking conversations on the subjects of ownership, engagement, equity, statistics, international mathematics, pathways, corequisites, standards, professional development, research, and leadership. On this one year anniversary, I would like to move forward on the call I made to start a revolution in the original IMPACTful Thoughts post “ You Say You Want an (Education) Revolution: Student Ownership of Learning is the Key” . In that blog, the focus was on understanding what student ownership of learning ...
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As a Transitional Studies Math instructor, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can get my students to engage with the process of becoming better math students and take ownership of their learning. The class I most frequently teach bridges directly from our Transitional Studies Math to the college-level course Math and Society, which is the last math course many students need in order to fulfill their math requirements for an AA degree. The students in this course have a variety of goals including improving English skills, getting a high school diploma, and transitioning to Math Department courses. These students often need extra support around how to ...
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Despite long-standing calls for improving student learning in developmental mathematics, the widespread developmental education reform movement focuses very little on supporting faculty to adopt new pedagogical practices. To fill this gap, the Community College Research Center (CCRC), Education Northwest , and mathematics faculty at three community colleges in Oregon collaborated on a project to adapt lesson study, a professional development approach used in K-12 mathematics, for use in higher education. We collected survey, observational, and interview data on lesson study implementation and its influence on faculty teaching practice in ...
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We know that students struggle with abstract mathematical symbolism at all levels, starting in elementary school, and continuing through various levels in college. Students often work with symbols as though the goal were to move them around on the page in order to satisfy arbitrary rules. These are rules they have adopted from their prior instructional experiences without really understanding how, why, or when they work. Students may even believe that it is not possible to understand the rules that they use—they may view the procedures like allowed chess moves, something that experts know and which must be memorized, but that cannot be derived or explained on ...
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Author(s): Dexter Lim, Bismark Akoto, Irene M. Duranczyk Algebra Instruction at Community Colleges (AI@CC) 1.0 and 2.0 are collaborative faculty research projects engaging community college researchers and practitioners with university research faculty and resources. Our first project sought to investigate the relationship between two characteristics of mathematics instruction at the community college level: (1) quality of teacher-student interaction and (2) quality of mathematics with student learning gains and course performance in community college algebra courses. For this IMPACT Plus blog, the focus will be on our framework for characterizing ...
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Welcome to this month’s conversation hosted by members of AMATYC’s Research Community. Each week, we will introduce the community to one current research project focused on teaching mathematics at two-year colleges with research findings hot off the presses. The underlying theme for each blog post on IMPACT Plus is using research findings as a way to take ownership of our teaching. For example, in the second week of May, our colleague Claire Wladis will share some of her research on two-year college students’ algebraic symbol sense and essential algebraic understandings, such as the concept of equivalence. As an instructor, I am able to use what ...
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The history of Arabic and Islamic culture and the history of the development of theories and practices in mathematics and science during the 8th-12th centuries greatly overlap or are the same in many instances. These areas of learning and accomplishment that had been the purview of the Greeks and then, later, the more practical culture of the Romans, were taken over to much of a degree by the Arabs who came into Southern Europe and Northern Africa from the east, led and unified by, among others, the prophet Mohammed. The Arabs settled down rather quickly and, unlike many conquering nations, proceeded to learn about and build on the works of the nations they had ...
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In December 2016, Erica Graham, Raegan Higgins, Shelby Wilson, and Candice Price had a conference call discussing the creation of a website that would highlight the contributions and lives of Black mathematicians. Inspired by the work of Lathisms and emboldened by the film Hidden Figures , they created the website “Mathematically Gifted and Black.” The name not only pays homage to the song so well known and loved within the Black community but is itself a tribute to those whose story may never have been told. Mathematically Gifted & Black honors a different Black Mathematician every day each February. One such honoree is Brittany Mosby, an accomplished ...
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