Math Teachers-to-be Sharpen Skills at Conference
Preparing a new generation of teachers for leadership in math education, Asbury University’s Department of Mathematics recently led 22 students to the 2013 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Regional Conference in Louisville, Ky.
According to Dr. Cheryll Crowe, a professor in Asbury’s Department of Mathematics and a session presenter at the NCTM conference, the trip was attended by math teaching majors and students fulfilling a class requirement for Elementary Math II. Students participated in sessions on topics including diversity and cultural awareness in the math classroom, using activities to engage students in math, and mathematics education research and practice.
Crowe says the professional atmosphere of the NCTM conference not only helps students understand the practical application of math education tools and strategies, it helps students begin to see themselves as educators.
“Students interact with classroom teachers and professionals in the field of education,’” she said. “Of additional significance, they see practices, technology, and other strategies for teaching mathematics implemented in the actual context of teaching and learning mathematics.”
Sophomore elementary education major Charlotte Castro says that the practical nature of the conference helped her see the value of her classroom experience at Asbury.
“As a student, I saw how practical some of my classes actually were,” she said. “At points, things that my professor Dr. Crowe has said in class were stated almost the same way by someone leading a workshop. As an educator, I came to understand the difference in and importance of formative and summative assessments. Also, I came to realize the resources available to assist in educating ESL/ELL students.”
Crowe says that the conference is valuable for faculty as well as students, giving them a platform to share their own research and to learn from other educators and professionals. As the founder the first math teachers’ circle in Kentucky, Crowe was asked to present a session on games and activities to encourage mathematical thinking, introducing students and colleagues to KenKen, an arithmetic and logic puzzle, and SET, a visual perception game.
“For math faculty, this is an opportunity to further our professional growth,” she said. “We have the opportunity to grow in the field of teaching mathematics as well as to share our research with a broad audience.”
To learn more about Asbury’s Department of Mathematics — and to watch a video highlighting unique characteristics of the program — visit http://www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/mathematics.
--by Joel Sams '15