Blogs

As a math teacher, how often do you hear, “this is the last class I need to graduate” or “I just want to get through this class”? The growth of quiet quitting by employees is something that math instructors have experienced for years in their classes: students performing the minimum amount of work that they can to get through and pass the class. Students frequently attempt to memorize content that they’re required to know. They’ll memorize formulas and steps without any real understanding. They keep trying to memorize more and more until eventually, they reach a tipping point where they can’t keep up and it all comes crashing down. What if instructors could get ...
There are demands to change the precalculus and calculus curricula. Do students still need to learn topics like synthetic division or Descartes’s Rule of Signs? Might it be valuable to increase the use of real data analysis in those courses? As technology evolves, what do students really need to know from the calculus curriculum? Are the techniques of integration as important today as they were a generation ago? What should be the role of infinite series in an evolving curriculum? Since most traditional differential equations problems can be solved immediately with technology, should the course become more theoretical, more applied, or disregarded completely? ...
When am I ever going to use this? How many times have you heard students say, “When am I ever going to use this?” For me, I heard it every semester at least once a semester, in every class I taught. Growing up there was never a question in my mind as to what I intended to be when I grew up. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and my love of math pointed me in that direction. Because I was focused on my one career goal, I truly did not have an answer to the question, “When am I ever going to use this?” The Connecting Industry to Mathematics (CIMI) Grant has answered that question and completely changed the way I approach projects in my courses. What ...
This content was developed by the AMATYC Diversity Dialogues team. Please join AMATYC in celebrating Women’s History month by incorporating into your classroom information about great women mathematicians. Here are a few bios to get you started. Mary Cartwright (1900 – 1993), Mathematician During WWII, British soldiers needed more powerful amplifiers so signals would not become jumbled. This problem was considered critical to winning the war. Mary rose to the challenge. She had a particular skill for combining mathematical concepts together in unusual ways. She and her friend J.E. Littlewood provided the British army with enough information to get ...
AMATYC Celebrates Black History Month By Jon Oaks Growing up, I was often the subject of the stereotype that Asians are good at math. But I would look around me, and hardly anyone looked like me, and none of my teachers were Asian. I didn't have an Asian teacher until college. And even today, as an instructor, sometimes I look around my classroom at my students and around my campus at the others walking around and think to myself, "None of these people look like me." And it never dawned on me why that is until recently when someone told me that Asians are underrepresented among two-year college professors, particularly among two-year college mathematics ...
The following is Written by Marvin L. Bittinger Edited by Marilyn Mays The Many Careers of Marvin L. Bittinger Or Marvin L. Bittinger: The Man Who Revolutionized Publishing for Developmental Math for College This bio traces the mathematics education career of Marvin L. Bittinger. From Manchester College to Ohio State University to Purdue University to a position as Prof of Math Ed at IUPUI. Along the way, I was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at The United States Air Force Academy and the author of numerous math textbooks for Addison/Wesley and Pearson Education. The goal of this bio is to inspire readers to overcome the bumps in life and ...
The Standards Committee 2023 New Year's resolution: To make IMPACT a living document and update AMATYC’s three signature documents; Crossroads, Beyond Crossroads, and IMPACT . Here is a brief description and history of our Signature Documents : Crossroads (1995) The purpose of Crossroads in Mathematics: Standards for Introductory College Mathematics Before Calculus is to address the special circumstances of, establish standards for, and make recommendat ions about two-year college and lower-division mathematics programs below the level of calculus. Three sets of standards for introductory college mathematics are defined in Chapter ...
Many community college students are focusing on programs that help them learn or reinforce the skills needed to land their desired job or advance within their current work environment. Others are in STEM programs that are preparing them for immediate entry into the field of their dreams. Providing meaningful applications of mathematics for career programs in various courses is engaging and motivating to students. Their proficiency in these applications is essential to their success in the workforce. Join us as we explore various aspects of applications of mathematics for career programs.
More than likely, you have heard about flipped teaching. Many faculty, upon hearing about the flipped teaching model, recognize that it makes a lot of sense and recognize that it would be an effective way to engage students in the classroom with the result being increased student success. Perhaps you have considered using the flipped teaching model but have not gotten started yet, with the fear that it is an overwhelming task and you are just too busy right now. If you know that flipped teaching would benefit your students and if you are interested in discovering some ways to flip your class without flipping out, then this is a great time to get started. ...
Back when the Statistics Anet hosted IMPACT Live! in May , Mark Earley posted the following discussion question: “What is the biggest change you've made to your introductory statistics class in the last 3 years? Why did you make the change and what impact has it had on your students?“ While there are some big changes I’ve made in my classroom over the years (like flipping my class or trying standards-based grading), some of the most impact ful changes in terms of student success have been small changes. This ties into the theme that the Innovative Teaching and Learning Anet and Project ACCCESS had for this month’s Impact Live! : A small idea ...
Author: Rachel Saidi In looking broadly at student success, one can define it based on outcomes, principles, and practices. Joe Cuseo of Marymount College wrote a column, “The Big Picture,” in Esource for College Transitions, which was published by the National Resource Center for First-Year Experience & Students in Transition (2007). Cuseo defined student success in terms of the following: Student Retention (Persistence): Entering college students remain, re-enroll, and continue their undergraduate education. Educational Attainment: entering students persist to completion and attainment of their degree, program, or educational goal. Academic ...
I remember our outpouring of commitment to building racial equity in the fall of 2020 as the effects of structural and ideological racism were brought into relief through the twin crises of the pandemic and police killings of unarmed African Americans. To be sure, the effects of structural racism were already well known by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color). Likewise, BIPOC students and colleagues have lived experiences with structural and ideological racism in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), while the various forms of racism remain hidden to racial groups that dominate STEM who hide behind the veneer of STEM disciplines ...
I was at an equity summit in late February and the speaker, the incredible Dr. Luke Wood, was talking about why community colleges are struggling to support Black men (amongst other population subgroups). His definition of equity is worth sharing: “Equity refers to a heightened focus on groups that experience disproportionate impact in order to remediate disparities in their experiences and outcomes.” Equity is a word that I have been hearing on the radio in connection with the new CRT (critical race theory) bugbear that has emerged as a political rallying point. For people committed to educational equity, Wood’s definition is useful ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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: ...
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 ...