Really interesting class!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2005
Really interesting class!
4
Sat, 08-30-2008 - 3:41pm

I was sorely disappointed that I can't get the 4 pre-req upper division math classes I need to get into the MAT program at NAU. But it was recommended I Pursue the M.Ed. Secondary Ed. w/emphasis in Math & could at least get 4 of those MAT classes - better than nothing at this point. Since I'm not teaching f/t this year, I unexpectedly began my Masters program by enrolling in two classes Monday - which classes were beginning same day. One because it's one of the core MAT classes I wanted to take (Reflecting in/on Math Education), & the other because it was the only class w/open seats of the required classes (the basic Intro to Education Research Methods) - & to get the loan $$ released I have to be enrolled in 2 classes. Not thinking I'd be able to get loan $$ for this year as I didn't do anything til a couple weeks ago I had already enrolled in the last offered Math class I can take at our local JC (Finite Math) which will complete my 24 math unit requirement for my Secondary Math certification + it will be helpful in getting me better prepared to pass my Secondary Math exam this year. So I am now basically a f/t student (all web-based courses thru distance ed)...

Of course w/o DS in school f/t I couldn't qualify for loans at all I've discovered. And the plan is to use the Federal Forgiveness Program as a math teacher so this part of my education won't cost me.. Once I start f/t w/the HS, the district will reimburse for classes after completion - & after a year of adjustment, or MAYBE even in the first year at the HS at this point, I could handle teaching f/t & taking 1 class. I'll see when I get to that point. When I was at the Jr Hi I was pretty fried w/just teaching f/t!, but it was my first couple years teaching also... The mid-section of the MAT course is putting together & implementing a collaborative lesson plan in a classroom in teams around the state - & when it looked like I'd either have to make several cross-state treks to do that because our community is so far removed from the bulk of the classmates (most are in or around the Phoenix or Tucson area) or withdraw for this year as I'm not that ready to be doing freeway driving just yet after the accident in June, another local HS teacher joined the class. With the distances involved the prof. will allow us to be a team.

Found used books on Amazon.com, had them expedited & am in the process of catching up on my running start to be on track w/the syllabuses for this next week. But wow , this course in Reflecting in/on Math Education looks like it will be just what I was hoping to get into. The first reading is from "The Teaching Gap" by Stigler & Heibert - based on conclusions drawn from the TIMMS (Third International Mathematics & Science Study) - a comparative analysis of Japanese, German and U.S. teaching methods. I found myself agreeing w/their conclusions as it really gives creedence to my frustrations w/expectations of teachers & at the very least documents ways America's teaching methods, rather than its teachers, contributes to deficits in student learning.

Off to read, write, & compute...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 09-01-2008 - 11:15am

You are keeping busy! I found that teaching full time

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2005
Mon, 09-01-2008 - 1:55pm

I almost feel that way just taking the 3 classes w/o the teaching f/t piece attached..:) Just have to get organized and into it.

Essentially, in these 1st 6 chapters, the comparative analysis leads to the conclusion that in our American system math teaching is approached from the belief system that math is mostly a a set of procedures and the goal is to help students become proficient executors of the procedures in order to solve problems (thus teacher directed drill & practice), whereas in Japan the teaching is based in the belief system that math is a set of relationships between concepts, facts, and procedures revealed by developing solution methods to problems, studying those methods, working toward increasingly efficient methods, and talking explicitly about the relationship of interest (more student-owned developing & comparing those solutions). To complicate matters, this teaching is done from widely shared embedded cultural beliefs and expectations and that improving the belief systems and cultural scripts for teaching is quite a different approach than improving the skills of individual teachers.

Next reading I'll let you know what some of the ideas are for improving education in the classroom.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2006
Mon, 09-01-2008 - 3:32pm

I have to second what Sherry said about the present and drill approach to math teaching. That's how I was taught, and I stuggled my way through every single math class I've ever taken. To this day, I don't understand or remember much beyond basic algebra, and I'll be honest: I hate math.


Maybe if I'd had a more innovative set of math teachers, it'd be a different story. Who knows.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Mon, 09-01-2008 - 4:32pm

Keep in touch, Joanne. I am finishing an ed master's too and would love to compare notes with a fellow student.

Express!
Beth "Petrouchka"

P.S. Feel free to mention AZ, too. I miss my old stomping grounds! I used to teach in Page, very close to where you are now?