Mathematics Education Colloquium Series

This lecture series in Mathematics Education is supported by Teachers for a New Era (TNE), and is organized by Profs. CK Cheung and Solomon Friedberg (Mathematics) and Prof. Lillie Albert (Teacher Education). It is intended for math educators at all levels, school administrators and support staff, mathematicians interested in K-12 math education, and future math educators. In-service mathematics teachers are especially encouraged to attend, as are all Noyce Teaching Fellows and Master Teaching Fellows who are participating in BC's NSF funded program "Exemplary Mathematics Educators for High-need Schools."

2018-2019 Colloquium Schedule


November 8, 2018

Speaker: Prof. Yeping Li, Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture, Texas A&M University

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Location: Campion Hall, Room 139

Title: Helping students learn mathematics through “looking back”

Abstract: Looking back is presented as the last step in Polya’s 4-step problem solving process, and often receives much less attention than other steps in problem solving. In this talk, I will highlight the importance of “looking back” not as the end of problem solving, but a starting point of helping students’ learn mathematics and develop their habits of mind. Specifications of “looking back” show its importance for developing effective classroom instruction and for reflecting on practices in mathematics teacher preparation and professional development.

December 6, 2018

Speaker: Prof. Salomé Martinez, Universidad de Chile

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Location: McGuinn Hall, Room 521

Title: Alice in Randomland: a mathematical adventure.

Abstract: The different nature of probabilistic thinking with respect to other areas of mathematics makes the teaching of probability a real challenge. In this talk we will discuss the design, characteristic and the underlying mathematical ideas of Alice in Randomland, an interactive mathematical story that promotes mathematics learning through a problem solving approach, in which illustrations aid the visualization of math concepts and strategies. The storybook is complemented by an app for smartphones that contains interactive mobile games to help children simulate experiments, explore and analyze problems, enhancing a visual discovery of the math ideas appearing throughout the story.

February 28, 2019

Speaker: Dr. Dan Teague, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Location: Campion Hall, Room 139

Title: Mathematical Modeling in the High School Classroom

Abstract: This presentation will present examples of mathematical modeling problems that are used regularly in Algebra and Pre-calculus classes at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Variations of the problems for students with weak algebra background and for those will exceptionally strong background will be described. Student comments about their experiences will be shared.

April 11, 2019

Speaker: Prof. Jeffrey Choppin, Professor & Chair, Department of Teaching & Curriculum, The University of Rochester

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Location: Campion Hall, Room 139

Title: Instructional Sequences, Task Authoring, and Mathematical Abstractions: How Kicking a Soccer Ball Unleashed my Creative Potential

Abstract: In this talk, I describe the notion of instructional sequence as a guiding principle in teachers’ curriculum practices. Instructional sequences emanate from conjectures about how to develop students’ thinking, and are not based strictly on the logic of the discipline. They begin with a low-entry high-ceiling task that elicits thinking around key ideas. These core ideas are then revisited and refined, leading ultimately to tasks that emphasize formalization and fluency. I describe how task authoring in the development of instructional sequences is associated with learning and local capacity building. I situate the talk in the context of using a video of me kicking a soccer ball as the basis of the instructional sequence; creating tasks from the video involved processes of mathematical abstraction and transformation of metric spaces. Authoring these tasks forced me to think about how students might wrestle with key mathematical ideas, and extended my own thinking and capacities.

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